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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Denny's Complimentary Grand Slam Only 'Free' To Those Who Can't Do Math

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Let our mathematical formula determine if this line is worth your time... - MARISOL SEGAL
  • Marisol Segal
  • Let our mathematical formula determine if this line is worth your time...
Those of you with dim memories of the Super Bowl -- screaming chickens, screaming CSI: Miami band, screaming Payton Manning -- may recall something about free Grand Slam breakfasts at Denny's. Well, you're right about that. But, then again, freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose -- and if you've really got nothing left to lose, then, yes, the Grand Slam is free.

As we noted during last year's surprisingly well-attended Denny's Grand Slam giveaway, whether or not you came out ahead or behind by accepting the free meal -- and this is not a gastrointestinal pun -- depends upon how religiously you follow the dictum "Time is Money."

It warrants mentioning that the monetary value of the Grand Slam breakfast is $5.99. Last year, the estimated wait time at San Francisco Denny's -- and there are only two of them, so you'll likely be spending some time on line -- was one hour. And the minimum wage in this city is $9.79 an hour.

At this point in the conversation, those who took any college economics courses (or crib via Wikipedia) will probably bring up "opportunity costs." Fair enough. In any event, our days toying with advanced math are behind us, so our mathematical

formula for determining if it's worth your while to wait for the Grand

Slam may be a bit crass. But here goes:

S = (H+1/5.99)*P*D

In which S equals one's Grand Slam "opportunity cost"

H equals one's hourly wage

P equals the Patience factor, and

D equals the Dignity Constant

The Patience factor varies from person to person, but let's say that an extremely impatient person would rate at eight and the Dalai Lama might rate at two.

Meanwhile the Dignity Constant tends to hover at around 6.5 in the present economic atmosphere.

S values between 1 and around 40 mean you're probably doing fine to wait for the extremely mediocre free food. Anything more than that, however, and you might begin wondering just how badly you want the goddamn eggs, pancakes, sausages, and the squirts. 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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