Chili’s awards project to O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul

O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul (OKRP) will be firing up the grill for some “bar-bee-q” as they were just awarded a new assignment from Chili’s.

Owned by Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT), the restaurant made the announcement after conducting a review that was run by Dallas-based consultant Mzyme Marketing.

The agency shift coincides with the arrival of new Chili’s EVP/Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer Steve Provost.

Provost joined Chili’s in March after running Brinker sister brand Maggiano’s Little Italy® for the past seven years. This follows a decade of work with Hill Holliday.

“Chili’s is the leader in the enduring bar and grill category whose ‘sea of sameness’ menu and advertising models are increasingly broken,” explained Provost. “We need to reinvest and differentiate our food and then find creative communication to convince Chili’s lovers and former Chili’s lovers to reconsider us, in a world where guests are deluged every day with promises of “better” and “new.”

OKRP president Nick Paul, CEO Tom O'Keefe and CCO Matt Reinhard

Provost added, “After a quick, but intensive search process, we found an agency, OKRP, that is reinventing the enduring model in their business and we felt that they are the right partner in this challenge. OKRP knows the rules of food advertising in order to break the rules of food advertising. They have demonstrated a quick understanding of our business, and how to connect with consumers with humor and humanity. Their scrappy, creative energy is just what we need to move our brand forward today.”

The new campaign from O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul is scheduled to launch in early fall 2017 and run through the second quarter of 2018.

“Chili’s is an iconic brand in a category we know and love,” said Tom O’Keefe, CEO of OKRP. “We do our best work with brands challenging the business conventions of the day and are very excited to be working with Chili’s in its next chapter of growth.”

Follow Colin Costello on Twitter at @colincostello10.