‘We Have to Do Our Part’ on Delivery, Says Denny’s ‘Zee
Clyde Rucker, CEO of franchisee group Rucker Restaurant Holdings.
Clyde Rucker waited 10 years for the right opportunity to buy into the Denny’s brand and in 2017 he acquired seven restaurants in Houston and has since grown that number to 19, including the addition of eight units last year as part of Denny’s refranchising program.
I talked with Rucker, CEO of Rucker Restaurant Holdings, for this Restaurant 200 story in our August issue, and the franchisee of Denny’s and Jack in the Box restaurants had more to say.
On his employees and culture: “The way we’re going to continue to grow sales is really from continuing to enhance our culture. What I mean by that is do the things we say we’re gonna do, be responsive to employees, have a comprehensive benefits package.”
Senior executives “don’t wear stripes on our sleeves,” he continued. “I’m talking to our GMs on a regular basis. I want employees to feel this is more of a team and not dictating from the top.”
On Denny’s off-premises efforts: “I’ve found Denny’s On Demand to work very well for us,” said Rucker of the online ordering and delivery platform the brand launched in 2017. “We’ve received incrementality to our business as a result. It’s been a real asset.”
Denny’s worked closely with its franchisees, Rucker noted, and negotiated some national contracts to streamline the process. “That collaboration has been an important piece,” he said.
In his restaurants there are designated areas for delivery drivers to pick up orders and signage at every counter to help direct drivers. Additional training has emphasized timely and accurate order assembly. “We have to ensure we do our part,” said Rucker.