Franchisee Friday - Denny's

Clyde Rucker

"I am passionate about empowering people at all levels and through franchising. Becoming a franchisee has allowed me to play an integral part in the success of a brand while also assisting others to grow their careers within my local community." - Our #FranchiseeFriday, Clyde Rucker, who owns Denny's locations across Texas! Clyde is our Franchisee Friday, because of his dedication to his community, promoting diversity within his business, and his passion for helping his team succeed. Check out our Q&A with Clyde:

Q: 
How does your franchise participate in community outreach efforts and give back to the local community?

A: 
It’s been awesome to work with a brand like Denny’s that truly cares about giving back and helping out those in need. On a national level, Denny's has been a proud supporter of No Kid Hungry to help end childhood hunger in the U.S. and has raised over $6.3 million since 2011 for children in need, and things like that make me proud to be a Denny’s franchisee. As a local business owner in Texas, we are fully committed to giving back to our community and support many non-profit organizations, including the American Red Cross of Central & South Texas Region, which is headquartered in Austin and serves more than 6.3 million people. Over the years, we have participated in local events, collected donations for the organization and provided volunteers in the local call center during disaster periods.

Given that we are members of the Houston community, we saw firsthand the devastation that Hurricane Harvey caused in 2018 and made it a priority to do what we could to help. In the aftermath of the storm, we utilized the Denny’s Mobile Unit to provide free meals to flood victims and first responders throughout the recovery process.

Q: 
What steps does your franchise system and your locations personally take to promote diversity in the workplace?

A: 
At Rucker Restaurant Holdings, we focus on diversity at all levels – that includes race and gender. The leadership team within our organization is very diverse, which is imperative for our employees as they think about career progression and moving through the ranks. Embracing diversity provides us with a wider-range of perspectives and unique insights, which allows us to build and operate a better business. It’s something we pride ourselves on and continue to broaden and prioritize as we grow with our respective brands.

Q: 
What methods do you use to improve the franchisee-franchisor relationship?

A: 
The Denny’s corporate team is truly invested in our success as franchisees. From my perspective, Denny’s focuses on having open communication with all operators, and having access to the wealth of information the corporate support team offers is such a valuable resource. If I need help or guidance, I know that there’s a team at corporate that will be readily available to offer support, and that’s been extremely important to me as I’ve worked to build a successful business. 

Q: What traits do you look for when evaluating potential managers to help run one of your franchise locations?

A: 
We look for a variety of characteristics when selecting leaders to be a part of our organization. I’d say that the three key components are having an insatiable appetite for a challenge, a desire to win and overall passion for the brand they are taking ownership of. We also look for the ability to be a mentor for all employees in order to continue molding leadership attributes within our staff and ensuring that everyone who has the hunger to grow is given the guidance they need to succeed. 

Q: 
How have you used technology at your franchise to increase efficiency in your operations, and what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve solved with a technological improvement

A: 
We all know that convenience is key for consumers today, which is why off-premises dining is more popular than ever, and as a forward-thinking company, Denny’s has embraced technology to continue our progression on all fronts. As a restaurant owner, it can be overwhelming to stay up-to-date on all of the new technology emerging and determine which are worth investing in, but the corporate team has continually helped us integrate crucial innovations that have made my restaurants more efficient. As America’s diner, our guests rely on us to provide craveable breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes at all-hours of the day and night. Through the Denny’s on Demand App and various network of delivery and online ordering partnerships, we’re able to meet this demand and offer consumers the ability to place a mobile or online order for takeout, or delivery, across the country.  

Q: 
What resources and methods do you use to educate your state and local legislators about the positive impacts of franchising?

A: 
Denny’s has been a member of the IFA for more than 20 years, and through their various education and advocacy efforts across nation, both Denny’s and the IFA have done an excellent job of informing our local leaders of the positive effects that franchising offers. 

For more information about franchising with Denny's, please click here.