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Denny’s Inc. has long been growing on college campuses, but in November the family-dining chain opened its first nontraditional restaurant on a military base.

The Spartanburg, S.C.-based chain opened a Denny’s Fresh Express location at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas in partnership with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, or AAFES, which operates outlets on military installations across the U.S. and in 30 countries and five U.S. territories.

More Denny’s Express units are planned with the AAFES, but the company did not have specifics on numbers.

Currently, Denny’s has 11 nontraditional restaurants open under two formats: seven Denny’s AllNighters, and four Denny’s Express units, including Nellis.

Both of the formats are fast casual, ranging in size from 250 square feet to 2,000 square feet. The AllNighter variation is designed specifically for college campuses with branding that targets Millennials, said Greg Powell, Denny’s vice president of concept innovation.

Denny’s Express units are designed for a broader audience in high traffic venues like airports, transit hubs and, now, military bases, he said.

Both formats feature Denny’s menu favorites, like the Grand Slam breakfasts all day, but their menus also include more portable items, like the Grand Slamwich (scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, shaved ham and American cheese on grilled maple and spice-buttered bread) or a chipotle prime rib breakfast burrito, burgers, grilled panini sandwiches or smoothies and grab-and-go items.

The 1,686-unit Denny’s isn’t the only brand looking for growth on military bases.

Boston Market also this year signed a 10-year agreement with the AAFES to operate licensed locations of the rotisserie chicken chain at military bases around the world.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout