Rainforest Reviewing

Chain Limiting Its Search to Minneapolis
CHICAGO–The Rainforest Cafe theme-restaurant chain is contacting Minneapolis-based agencies about developing a loyalty campaign to generate repeat business, sources said.
Jean Golden, director of corporate communications for the Hopkins, Minn.-based chain, confirmed the review but declined to name contenders. She said the search is limited to Minneapolis agencies.
Bozell Kamstra, Periscope Marketing Communications and Foley Sackett are among the participating shops, sources said. Finalists are expected to be named this week, with presentations scheduled for Aug. 10.
The Rainforest Cafe was founded in 1994 to capitalize on the then-growing trend of themed eateries, such as Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Cafe. The category has experienced growing pains, but Rainforest has been performing well. Its gross revenues for 1997 were up 122 percent to $108 million. The company operates 15 stores domestically and three outside the U.S., all centered on the theme, “A wild place to shop and eat.”
In June, Jack Malisow was named Rainforest’s first vice president of marketing. He most recently was an executive at Grand Casinos in Plymouth, Minn.
Billings were not disclosed, but one source said the account could be worth more than $5 million.
The company has no agency of record, and has handled much of its marketing in-house and on a project basis. Duffy Design, a unit of Fallon McElligott, was contracted to develop the chain’s logo, but is not involved in the current review, according to sources. Risdall Linnihan Advertising, New Brighton, Minn., which is creating Rainforest’s new Web site, is also not participating.