Denny's international expansion began in 1966 with the opening of its first location in Acapulco, Mexico. Some of the countries that the Denny's brand has since spread to include Canada, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, as well as Indonesia and Aruba, two of the company's most recent international outposts. In 2019, there were over 1,700 Denny's restaurants operating across 15 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. While the total number of branches has remained largely constant in recent years, the percentage of company-owned eateries has significantly decreased as part of Denny's franchise-focused business model. Regardless of this broad global footprint, the vast majority of establishments are located in the United States. Based on unit count, Denny's is one of the three largest family-style dining chains nationwide.
In 2019, Denny's Corporation generated over 541 million U.S. dollars in revenue worldwide, down from 630 million in 2018. Although the overall operating revenue saw a year-on-year decline, Denny's franchise and license revenue figures stood at an all-time high that year, according to the company's annual financial reports. In terms of sales, Denny's was the second highest-grossing family-style restaurant chain in the U.S. in 2019, outperformed only by IHOP. On a national scale, full-service restaurant (FSR) sales reached a record 298.37 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 after over twenty years of constant growth.
Since opening its first branch almost 70 years ago, Denny's has undergone multiple changes. In addition to the company's image remodeling efforts and extensive refranchising initiatives, Denny's has embraced a shift towards digital. By launching its online ordering platform Denny's On Demand, the brand boosted its off-premises sales, particularly among late-night diners. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Denny's free delivery service was transitioned to a contactless delivery and pick-up model in early 2020. Other steps that were taken to contain to spread of the disease during day-to-day operations included the implementation of curbside pick-up, as well as a grocery delivery service in select locations across the United States.