So we’ve told you all about Denny’s new Hobbit menu, and what you can expect in restaurants from November 6th.  And all very delicious it is, too.  But here’s the stuff that’s really exciting for fans….

On Hobbit placemats in Denny’s there will be four QR codes which can be scanned for exclusive content.  These include some ‘behind-the-scenes/making of’ footage from the fun Denny’s ‘fandom’ commercial (which you can see here); various social-mobile games; and a link to Denny’s ‘Hobbit Hub’, where you can play games, send virtual postcards from Middle-earth, take quizzes, ‘Hobbitise’ yourself and other fun activities.  Much of this content has been developed with or by Warner Bros., and is shared through Denny’s partnership with them.  (Also it’s worth noting – in the ‘Inspiration’ commercial (linked above) – the music used is not Howard Shore’s, but it WAS provided for the commercial by WB.  The first part is rather ‘Potter-esque’ in its tinkly, sparkling sounds, while the second part sounds like the music used in the second Hobbit trailer.)

Most excitingly of all, one of the QR scans takes you to EXCLUSIVE behind-the-scenes footage from the set of The Hobbit movies.  This has been put together by WB specially for Denny’s, and we were lucky enough to see it (twice!) at Denny’s HQ last Tuesday.  MINOR SPOILERS coming up – read no further if you want to stay spoiler free!

I can’t reveal much about this footage – you can only see it by visiting Denny’s! – but I can tell you it is called ‘An Unexpected Dinner Party’.  It includes interviews with cast members, and shots of crew working, scene preparation and then shooting on the Bag End set.  There are moments such as Richard Armitage saying, ‘Whenever there’s an opportunity for a food fight or a drinking song, the dwarves will take it…’ We see inside Bilbo’s very well-stocked pantry (which provided inspiration for Denny’s in creating their own Hobbit menu), and – shh, don’t tell anyone I told you – I was thrilled to hear those well-known words, ‘That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!’  Yes, in case you were in any doubt, this footage confirms that the ‘Chip the glasses and crack the plates’ song (or at least some of it – and seemingly more as a drinking ‘chant’) makes it into the first movie.

If you go to Denny’s for no other reason – and personally I think the Red Velvet hushpuppies are a pretty compelling reason! – do go along to see this exciting bit of behind-the-scenes footage, available to you from November 6th.  It’s well worth it.

Denny’s staff also revealed that they are working on possible menu ideas for tie-ins to the second and third Hobbit movies, if this campaign proves a success.  Interestingly, they talked about some potential dragon ideas for this current menu and marketing, but those didn’t make the cut this time.   Some ideas based on Beorn and on Mirkwood didn’t make it either.  Now, this is pure speculation on my part, but whilst those ideas MAY have been rejected simply because they didn’t make the grade, I find myself wondering if Beorn, Mirkwood and Smaug didn’t qualify for this menu because they aren’t in this movie?  A clue to the content of An Unexpected Journey?  Hmm – food for thought…  (See what I did there??)