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Restaurants bet they'll be real winners of contests

It will cost Denny's Corp. a Grand Slam a week to pay off the winner of its "Grand Slam for a Year" contest. That's a plate of pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausage that goes for about $5.

But as an article in the Wall Street Journal reports, the prospect of a Grand Slam bonanza helped 600,000 people in the United States to supply Denny's with their names, contact information and email. Some 450,000 "opted to join the Denny's Rewards program, which regularly emails updates on new menu items and specials. Denny's bets these emails will draw more loyal customers to its 1,545 restaurants," the Journal reported.

The story also introduces readers to a reverend from Texas who will camp out the night before a new Chick-Fil-A store (specializing in fried chicken breast sandwiches and nuggets) opens. That's because they give coupons for a year's worth of sandwiches to the first 100 people in line. The reverend has hit the jackpot four times.

Over the coming months, as the masses of Grand Slam contest also-rans find themselves deleting Denny's emails from their inboxes, they might feel more like losers than they expected. It's still true for everybody but the winner: There ain't no such thing as a free breakfast.

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