Houlihan’s, Bennigan’s in Review

Two restaurant chains are serving portions of their accounts in reviews totalling $7 million.
Bennigan’s Restaurants, part of Metromedia Restaurant Group, is looking for two shops to separately handle creative duties and sales promotions, sources said.
The Houlihan’s Restaurant Group in Kansas City, Mo., is shopping its $2 million account after parting with home agency MMG Worldwide, Kansas City, earlier this year. Muller + Co. also in Kansas City, has been working on the account since then and is in the review, as are other Midwest shops.
Bennigan’s incumbent agency, Doner in Southfield, Mich., currently handles other Metromedia brands, Steak and Ale, Ponderosa and Bonanza, which aren’t affected by the review. Doner is currently finishing a TV campaign and collateral for Bennigan’s scheduled to break in the first quarter.
“Bennigan’s wants to diversify its creative resources and is looking for a new approach to the ‘Let’s get together’ theme,” company representative Chris Barnes said. About 10 agencies are in the review, he said. A decision is expected in early 2000. John Beck, vp of marketing, is managing the review.
The selected shop will handle creative, strategic positioning, broadcast media and print production. In-store sales materials will be produced by a new sales promotion agency.
The Houlihan’s review was spurred by new management, which wanted to involved the francisees in the search, sources said.–with
A. Baar, T. Irwin and T. Siebert