A cartoonist has to eat more than baloney sandwiches and WalMart noodle salad, so every once in a while I go out to eat. Tonight it was Denny’s. The reason is simple: I have a way of measuring restaurant quality called the D-Scale. Denny’s is the zero on the D-Scale. If a restaurant is better than Denny’s, then the measurement is higher than zero. If a restaurant is worse than Denny’s, then the measurement is lower than zero.

Simple, but what makes a restaurant equal to Denny’s? You know the restaurant you are in is on par with Denny’s when:

  • The wait staff wears uniforms.
  • The wait for the twenty empty tables is ten minutes long.
  • The wait staff reeks of cologne, cigarettes and pot.
  • The tables and chairs are bolted to the floor and walls.
  • The menu is laminated and hasn’t been cleaned in a year.
  • The ceiling tiles have that asbestos look to them.
  • The drinks come in plastic cups.
  • The light comes from the hook-a-toy machine twenty feet away.
  • The forks come after the food and by request only.
  • The food tastes like the wait person smells.
  • The red, plastic ketchup bottles are always empty.
  • The salt shaker is mostly rice kernels.
  • The dessert tastes like the entree and also needs ketchup.
  • The best thing on the menu is the free wifi.

The sad thing is, Denny’s is the standard in American dining. Sure there are better places to eat at, unfortunately, there are plenty of worse places.

The Provo, Utah Denny’s is located at 1680 N Freedom Blvd, Provo, UT 84604 (801-375-8362).

The grades:

  • Roast Beef on a Shingle — D (soggy and flavorless)
  • Apple Pie a la Mode — D- (WalMart Apple Pie with WalMart Ice Cream)
  • Diet Coke — C

Is the restaurant:

  • good for kids — yes (the kids there brought their own music)
  • good for a date — no (unless you are poor BYU student)
  • cheap — sorta (McDonalds and Dominos are both cheaper)
  • clean — no (the men’s room is dirtier than most bar bathrooms and smells the same)
  • open late — yes (but not 24/7)

Dennys on Urbanspoon