Empower Gains Burger Chain’s Media

CHICAGO Restaurant chain Red Robin Gourmet Burgers has tapped independent Empower MediaMarketing to handle media duties on its $2 million account without a review, according to the agency.

“Red Robin is a dynamic and rapidly growing chain that offers us an exciting opportunity to implement a highly creative and strategic media plan that will help accelerate their growth and brand recognition,” said Beth Steel, a vice president at the Cincinnati agency, in a statement.

Interpublic Group’s TM Advertising in Irving, Texas, was the media incumbent, having won the client’s planning and buying account in April 2005 after a review of undisclosed contenders. Dwayne Chambers, who was vice president of marketing at the company, joined Noodles & Co. as vice president of marketing in September 2005. Kim McBee is serving as interim vice president of marketing at Red Robin.

Most of the company’s creative is handled in-house.

Based in Greenwood Village, Colo., Red Robin operates more than 300 restaurants in the United States and Canada. The company spent $2 million on advertising in 2004 and $2 million through October 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.