Denny’s Sets Review

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

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

“Where the configuration ends up is part of the [review] process,” said Jeff Tritt of the 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 finalist agencies will be visited in early June, with final presentations expected for the end of that month, Tritt said.

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

WestWayne in Tampa, Fla., handles general-market creative 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 was Lowe in New York.

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

MediaVest in New York handles media buying, which is also part of the review.

Other shops Denny’s works with include the Chisholm-Mingo Group in New York for African-American advertising and Publicis Sanchez Levi tan in Miami for Hispanic work. Last week the chain launched a national effort from WestWayne behind its Grand Slam breakfast.