ORLANDO: Hoping to distinguish itself within the sagging theme-restaurant industry, the Hard Rock Cafe is midway through a review of its dollars 1 million PR account. A decision should be handed down next month.
ORLANDO: Hoping to distinguish itself within the sagging
theme-restaurant industry, the Hard Rock Cafe is midway through a review
of its dollars 1 million PR account. A decision should be handed down
Chris Tomasso, senior director of marketing and productions, said the
company sent out an RFP to 60 agencies via PR Newswire a month ago and
is currently reviewing about 25 proposals. He hopes to winnow the list
down to four or five firms this week, with the menu limited to east
coast-based agencies with above dollars 3 million in revenues.
In recent years, the rock ’n roll restaurant chain has gone through a
progression of changes with its PR. Hard Rock used to employ a firm in
every major market, but then consolidated its account around
Orlando-based Curly & Pynn in 1994. In 1997, the company took its PR
But as Hard Rock consolidated its four corporate offices to a single
Orlando headquarters, the two internal PR staffers - both based in Los
Angeles - decided not to move east. ’We had started to search for an
LA-based agency, but once the consolidation took place, it made no
sense,’ Tomasso said.
The theme-restaurant industry has recently been rocked by poor financial
performance, as consumers have grown tired of long lines and overpriced
food. Celebrity-backed Planet Hollywood has just emerged from
bankruptcy, while others, including the Fashion Cafe and Rainforest
Cafe, are struggling to stay afloat.
Tomasso said the Hard Rock is hoping to generate positive coverage in
the consumer press, and make sure that the chain is not ’lumped in with
(its) competitors.’ The company operates 104 sites worldwide.