By Laura Michaels

Off-premise sales gave Denny’s Corp. a boost in the second quarter, helping the brand mitigate the effects of what President and CEO John Miller called a “choppy performance” in the restaurant industry overall.

During the company’s earnings call August 1, Miller cited “the continued gap between grocery and restaurant pricing, the influence of a retail slowdown on dining out occasions, holiday shifts and federal income tax refunds delays,” as weighing down overall industry performance. Denny’s, however, overcame some of these issues as second quarter domestic same-store sales increased 2.6 percent. That includes a nearly 1 percentage point increase in off-premise sales following the national launch of Denny’s On Demand.

“These new to-go transactions are highly incremental and over indexed at late night in the dinner dayparts,” said Miller. “With 28 percent of domestic system activity engaged with one or more delivery service provider, we anticipate continued long-term growth in our off-premise sales from the Denny’s On Demand platform as more restaurants sign delivery agreements.”

Denny’s On Demand, which the company launched nationally in May through a partnership with Olo, meets guest expectations for greater convenience, Miller continued, and includes online and mobile ordering and payment for to-go items. The company also launched delivery where available via Olo’s Dispatch network of third-party services.

Total operating revenues increased by 7.3 percent to $133.4 million, up from $124.3 million in the same quarter last year. Denny’s operates 172 of its restaurants, while 1,552 are franchisee-owned.