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January 25, 2023

Denny’s Abandons Pledge to End Cages for Pregnant Pigs

January 24, 2023—Denny’s, the American diner-style restaurant chain known for being “Always Open,” has abandoned its pledge to end the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs in its supply chain. The company originally released the public commitment in 2012 but has since deserted these efforts after reporting little progress in reducing and removing these crates. Denny’s is now refusing to be transparent about further plans to fulfill its past pledge. 

In response to the abandoned pledge, the global animal protection group—Animal Equality—launched a campaign on Monday to call out Denny’s. The “Always Open for Cruelty” campaign seeks to hold Denny’s accountable for its 2012 commitment.

Animal Equality is calling on the multi-million dollar chain to follow through with its promise to pigs and is asking supporters, customers, shareholders and other stakeholders to write Denny’s executives to demand change.

Denny’s has not only failed in its commitment to mother pigs suffering inside crates that allow no space for a quality of life—it has lied to its consumers and shareholders who rallied behind the promise of a more humane life for these intelligent and sensitive animals. As a company that boasts ‘responsible sourcing,’ it is of public interest that Denny’s follows through with its commitment to 100% crate-free housing.

-Sharon Núñez, President & Co-founder of Animal Equality

In the 2012 release of Denny’s commitment published by HuffPost, LA Times and The Chicago Tribune, an official of the company was quoted stating: “Denny’s takes its role as a responsible corporate citizen seriously. We will endeavor to purchase products from companies that provide gestation crate-free pork and are committed to influencing our suppliers to share in a gestation crate-free vision for the future.”

In a 2014 statement about its progress, Denny’s further claimed: “In 2012, Denny’s was one of the first companies to initiate working with pork suppliers to eliminate gestation crates within its supply chain. This path toward a more humane supply chain is best for our company, our guests, and our continued work to improve animal welfare. In order to achieve our goal of a gestation crate-free future and to evaluate suppliers, we’re asking our pork providers for periodic updates on their progress toward group housing.”

Despite its public acknowledgment that crate-free housing would lead to a “more humane supply chain” and that this path was “best” for their “guests,” Denny’s has failed to follow through with its pledge to protect pigs, and its public commitment to customers, shareholders and stakeholders. 

By abandoning its pledge, pigs in Denny’s supply chain remain confined to 7-by-2-foot crates. These are the same crates the majority of 6 million mother pigs in the US live inside for most of their lives. The space allotted is barely bigger than the animals’ bodies. They are unable to turn around or exhibit any natural behaviors. Many animals resort to biting the metal bars of the crates and banging their heads against them from stress. 

Americans have deemed these crates so cruel that they have voted to ban them in ten US states. Leading animal welfare scientists, such as Dr. Temple Grandin, have also called for their abolition for decades.

Since 2018, Animal Equality has been working with corporations to establish protections for farmed animals and end extreme confinement, like the use of gestation crates. Recently, the global organization won a campaign against Compass Group, the world’s largest food services company, which committed to banning crates for pigs in its US supply chain. The animal welfare policy made by Compass is one of the strongest in the food sector. 

Just a month later, Animal Equality secured a policy for crate-free housing by Delaware North, the fourth-largest food service provider in the US.

Animal Equality is asking Denny’s to follow alongside these and other major companies across sectors—like Jack in the Box, Burger King, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s—who are on track to seriously reduce the use of gestation crates in their supply chains by 2025 or 2026, as a step towards eliminating crates entirely.

Interviews available upon request:

Email or call Claire Roberson, Communications Manager, to schedule an interview with Animal Equality’s President & Co-founder Sharon Núñez:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (424) 902-2122



Animal Equality is an international animal protection organization working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals. Through undercover investigations, Animal Equality works in eight countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and India—to create and change animal protection laws, educate the public and work with corporations to improve the lives of farmed animals.

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