Harold Butler (1921 – July 9, 1998) was an American entrepreneur. He is most recognized for being the founder of the Denny's casual dining restaurant chain in the late 1950s. Butler also helped develop numerous other chains, including Winchell's Donuts, Naugles, and Jojo's.
In 1953, Harold Butler and his partner opened Danny's Donuts in Lakewood, CA. In 1955, after his partner's departure from the now 6-store chain, Butler created and changed the concept a year later in 1956 from a donut shop to a coffee shop with store #8. Danny's Donuts is renamed Danny's Coffee Shops and changes its operation to 24 hours. In 1959, to avoid confusion with Los Angeles restaurant chain, Coffee Dan's, Butler changed the name from Danny's Coffee Shops to Denny's Coffee Shops. In 1961, Denny's Coffee Shops becomes Denny's.
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