Denny’s Big Breakfast Gamble and the Church

Posted by on February 11, 2009

I saw the Super Bowl ad for a free grand slam breakfast at Denny’s on February 3rd.  And I was planning to take the family.  Only each Denny’s we visited had a line around the block.  Apparently, Denny’s served 2 million breakfasts that morning.  They estimate that they got $50 million worth of free (positive) publicity for an event that cost them $5 million.  (See the USA Today article on the event.)

When we’re planning an event at the church, someone will almost always say, “What if we advertise it and 5000 people come?  We won’t be able to handle it!”  My usual response is that “It hasn’t happened yet, even when we want to invite the whole community.”

Denny’s took a risk.  A big, expensive risk.  Would anyone come?  Would any of them come back?  What if too many people came and left mad?  What if they got bad press?

The way I see it, they couldn’t lose.  Either a) People would come and enjoy a good breakfast, learning where Denny’s was and what it offered or b) too many would show up making it a big media event – showing priceless images of people lining up around the block to eat at Denny’s.  Either way you win, right?  It was a gutsy move, and they hit a grand slam.  (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)  I didn’t get a breakfast, but I wasn’t angry – it wasn’t Denny’s fault!

Usually in the church, we play it safe.  That means when we accomplish out goals, not much happens.  What if we tried to be like Denny’s?  After all, our “CEO” rewards those who step out in faith!

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