O’Tooles targets an older clientele

A marketing campaign aimed at an older crowd, along with a cleaner, brighter environment and more selection on the menu are just a few of the changes under way at O'Tooles.Ken Kadonoff, chief executive officer of s.i.r., which owns the restaurant...

A marketing campaign aimed at an older crowd, along with a cleaner, brighter environment and more selection on the menu are just a few of the changes under way at O’Tooles.

Ken Kadonoff, chief executive officer of s.i.r., which owns the restaurant chain, says the company wants to put more emphasis on restaurant sales, rather than bar sales, to attract customers in the 25-45 age group.

Kadonoff expects the repositioning to take between 12 and 18 months.

Music will be changed to appeal to an older crowd, and special entertainment nights such as karaoke will be added to the roster.

Company research pointed out consumers are looking for value in restaurant food promotions, so O’Tooles has made every Thursday night a two-for-one fajitas night.

Two 30-second radio spots with a ‘spaghetti western’ approach to introduce the new deal were created by Larter Advertising of Toronto, O’Toole’s agency-of-record since 1988.

The spots are now airing in Toronto, and will start in the Maritimes in August.

s.i.r. is the newly created company that bought the assets and the franchise rights of the financially troubled O’Toole’s chain.

Some of the restaurants could not be revived and the tally is now 50 in Ontario, five in the Maritimes and seven in Quebec.

s.i.r. also owns two Toronto-area restaurants called Walt’s Beanery with Taps.