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Food

Forget ice cream—full-service restaurant chains are betting on burgers this summer

Denny's

Full-service chains ranging from Denny’s to Famous Dave’s are turning their promotional focus to burgers this summer.

So far, none of the recent examples have followed IHOP’s lead in changing their names as part of the push.

Denny’s announced on Monday that it’s adding another $6.99 cheeseburger to its existing lineup, a permanent addition called America’s Diner Cheeseburger. The new sandwich features caramelized onions, American cheese and what Denny’s is calling All-American sauce.

The diner chain is also calling attention to two cheeseburgers already on its menu, the Spicy Sriracha Burger and the Bacon Avocado Cheeseburger.

All three are served on brioche, with a choice of crinkle-cut fries, hash browns or fruit.

“Burgers have long been a part of our DNA as America’s Diner and continue to be one of the most popular dishes among our guests,” CMO John Dillon said in a statement.

The burgers are available around the clock, as Denny’s underscores in its promotional materials.

A bargain price is the lure in O’Charley’s burger come-on. Through Aug. 10, the multiregional casual chain is offering a burger and fries for $5 during the week. The classic American sandwich is also being spotlighted as one of the concept’s new Platefuls selections, a collection of full meals priced for a limited time for dinner or lunch, any day of the week, for $10.

Famous Dave’s, the resurging barbecue chain, has similarly thrown a spotlight on burgers. It sent an email to customers on Monday touting Dave’s Ultimate Burger, a sizable sandwich that features chopped pork, jalapeno bacon, American cheese and a barbecue sauce flavored with Jim Beam and cola. It’s served with pickles and a choice of side for $11.99 in the New York area.

Followers of The Capital Burger, Darden Restaurants’ newest concept, also got a plug this week for The Capital Grille spinoff’s mushroom burger, which features roasted wild mushrooms, Swiss cheese, an aged balsamic and truffle aioli. It sells for $16.

The burger promos follow IHOP’s publicity gimmick earlier this year of changing its name to IHOb, with the “b” standing for “burgers,” as part of its push of a $5.99 burger line. 

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