SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Denny’s has opened its 1,600th restaurant, located in Sioux Falls, S.D. The 1,600th restaurant marks a significant milestone for the company, putting Denny’s back into the top spot in terms of locations in the family-restaurant segment.

Its recent unit growth stems from an ongoing multi-year transformation at Denny’s that is reenergizing the brand and improving business performance, according to a news release. The company’s Franchise Growth Initiative (F.G.I.) continues to transition company-owned stores to franchisees and stimulate additional unit growth, while the previously announced partnership with Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers is accelerating the pace of unit growth.

Denny’s conversion of existing restaurants at Flying J Travel Centers is anticipated to yield up to 140 new Denny’s units by early next year.

The Sioux Falls Denny’s opening is a Flying J conversion owned by franchisee Ken Herslip of LaMore Restaurant Group LLC.

“We are thrilled to have crossed this important milestone and even more excited by the energy and enthusiasm that exists for the Denny’s brand,” said Debra Smithart-Oglesby, interim chief executive officer and Board chair of Denny’s Corporation.