Denny’s Looks to Trim Roster

A desire to pare the number of agencies and design shops it works with has led Denny’s to review its $50 million account, according to the consultant overseeing the contest.

The Spartanburg, S.C.-based division of Advantica Restaurant Group now works with about 11 agencies on different aspects of its business, including media, which is included in the review.

“Where the configuration ends up is part of the [review] process,” said Jeff Tritt of consultancy Rojek Cutcher Group in Cleveland. “Eleven’s too many, one’s probably unrealistic.”

Proposal requests will be sent out in late April. Three or four finalists will be visited in early June, with final presentations set for the end of that month, he said.

Denny’s wants shops that are experienced in restaurant work as well as dealing with a franchise system, according to RCG.

WestWayne in Tampa, Fla., is the general-market creative agency for Denny’s. The agency won its portion of the account in May 2000 following a review. The finalist in that competition was the Kaplan Thaler Group in New York. The incumbent at the time was Lowe in New York.

WestWayne “is involved in the process,” Tritt said. An agency representative said the shop planned to participate and is “looking to gain even more of the business.”

MediaVest in New York handles media buying. Other agencies Denny’s works with include Chisholm-Mingo Group in New York and Publicis Sanchez Levitan in Miami.