The popular chain is offering unlimited pancakes or fries with entrees up until the end of March.
But in offering unlimited heavy fare, the ad for the offer makes light of the Great Hunger.
One Echo reader who saw the ad.
"The commercial is for their new promotion of endless fries and pancakes and it uses the Irish famine as a joke. To paraphrase the commercial: 'In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Irish famine, Denny's is offering free endless fries and endless pancakes, though we haven't ever heard of a pancake shortage before,'" the reader wrote in an email.
"What's next, free latkes for the holocaust?" the reader added.
Readers of other newspapers also expressed outrage.
"I saw the commercial that included potato famine jokes. I guess Denny's forgot that over a million people died during the great potato famine and it was the primary reason for the Irish to emigrate to the U.S. Whoopsie! Awkward!" a Chicago Tribune reader posted on a Tribune website blog.
"Anyone have a link to the famine commercial online? I saw it this morning and have wanted to share it. I can't believe that they did that," wrote another Tribune reader, whose comment was posted on the same site.