WestWayne’s Fast Win

ATLANTA: Making a strong initial showing with officials of Roadhouse Grill enabled WestWayne to leapfrog five undisclosed agencies and the balance of the review to win the $5 million account of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based restaurant chain.
“They told us we hit it out of the box in the first round and they had decided not to go on with the review,” said agency president Ben West. “They said our knowledge of the category and the chemistry was a knockout blow.”
Client executive vice president and chief financial officer Dennis Jones did not return calls at press time. In a prepared statement, Jones credited the agency’s ability “to help restaurants expand” as one reason he decided to award the agency the business.
WestWayne’s category experience comes from its past relationship with Outback Steakhouse Restaurants, which it lost last year. That account is now at McCann-Erickson, New York.
Roadhouse competes in the value-priced, casual-dining res-taurant segment and has 41 company-owned units in Alabama, Florida, Lou-isiana, Georgia, Mississ-ippi, New York, Ohio and South Carolina. The company plans to have three more sites by year’s end.
“[The chain] has a definite Western feel to it,” West said. “But they’ve never really positioned their brand. During the review they didn’t want us to look at a lot of what they had done in the past, so we wouldn’t be encumbered by previous icons.”
West said a major portion of the agency’s advertising for Roadhouse will be television. The initial work is expected to break in early 1998.
The account will be serviced out of the agency’s Tampa, Fla., office, with help from the Atlanta branch.