Press Release

Dawn Lafreeda Receives Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Award

Media Contact:

Jessica Liddell, ICR

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (December 16, 2016) – Denny’s (Nasdaq:DENN) today announced that franchisee Dawn Lafreeda received the Equality Award at the 14th Annual Human Rights Campaign Gala and Auction in San Antonio, one of the largest LBGTQ fundraising events in San Antonio. The Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Award is presented annually to an individual who works toward equality for all citizens of San Antonio.

“On behalf of the entire Denny’s family, I am thrilled to congratulate Dawn on the honor of receiving the HRC’s Equality Award,” said John Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Denny’s. “Dawn is very deserving of this award as she has made a significant impact on Denny’s, the communities she serves and the organizations she supports. She embodies our guiding principle of ‘Embrace Openness’ and her steadfast commitment to equality is inspiring.”

Dawn Lafreeda, President & CEO of Den-Tex Central Inc., owns and operates 77 Denny’s restaurants across Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Ms. Lafreeda joined Denny’s at the age of 16, starting as a hostess and then was promoted to waitress. While she was studying at college, Ms. Lafreeda joined a software company where she learned about accounting, computers and running a business. She leveraged her skills and transitioned from a waitress to franchise owner in 1984 when she purchased her first restaurant from Denny’s Corporation in Globe, Ariz. Ms. Lafreeda supports numerous organizations including the Human Rights Campaign, Family Equality Council, Equality Texas, and No Kid Hungry. She is the company’s largest individually-owned franchisee who is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Denny’s earned a score of 75 on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Denny’s score reflects a commitment to LGBT workplace equality, with respect to tangible policies, benefits, and practices.

The Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide. The Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation together serve as America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ equality.

To learn more about Denny’s diversity efforts please visit

About Denny’s Corp.

Denny's Corporation is the franchisor and operator of one of America's largest full-service family restaurant chains, based on the number of restaurants. Denny's has approximately 1,700 franchised, licensed, and company restaurants around the world including 147 restaurants in Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Philippines, New Zealand, Honduras, the United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Guam, Guatemala, the United Kingdom, El Salvador, Indonesia, and Aruba. For further information on Denny's, including news releases, please visit the Denny's website at or the brand’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn or YouTube.