Back to Top

Fascinating True Stories from the Flip Side of History

Tag Archives: 1988

No Locks at Denny’s

In December of 1988, the restaurant chain Denny’s decided to close all of its 1,221 stores for the Christmas holiday.  

This was not an easy decision for the company to make.  The chain was well-known for being open 24-hours-a-day, 365-days a year, so closing on Christmas day was predicted to cost the chain $5 million in sales.

They were faced with an even bigger problem: Since the chain never shut its doors, many of their restaurants were either built without locks on the doors or no one could find the keys to the locks that did exist.  The company had to install door locks in more than 700 of its restaurants just so that they close for that one day.

My wife and I stopped at our local Denny’s a few weeks ago and the first thing I did was check the door.  There was a lock there.

Picture taken at the Denny's restaurant on Wolf Road in Colonie, NY on November 30, 2018 confirming that there is a lock installed on the front door.
Picture taken at the Denny’s restaurant on Wolf Road in Colonie, NY on November 30, 2018 confirming that there is a lock installed on the front door.
 

Phone Picker Arrested

Between the years of 1981 and 1988, someone was breaking into pay telephones across the United States, costing the Bell System an estimated half-million dollars.  It was believed by investigators to have been the work of just one man, since the phone locks were considered to be unpickable.  And, to show that he had a sense of humor, the crook always checked into cheap motels using the alias “James Bell.”  Continue Reading