Case Study: Hard Rock Café’s Global Strategy
1. Identify the strategy changes that have taken place at Hard Rock Café since its founding in 1971.
Hard Rock Café is one of the most recognized brands globally. Since its founding in 1971, Hard Rock Café has been continuously upgrading itself to bring the brand to where it is now - adapting to the times and changing when change demands.
Hard Rock started as a London Café serving classic American food. It became a “theme” chain selling memorabilia in tourist destinations. From there the company adopted many more transformations including adding stores, upgrading its menu, moving to places that are not typical tourist destinations, and most effective of all, including live music and rock concerts into the overall customer experience.
Hard Rock elevated dining to a whole new level by shifting to “experience” selling, a dining event that includes a unique visual and sound experience not duplicated anywhere else in the world”. To create this unique experience, Hard Rock invested millions in creating a visual and acoustic scenario perfect for their guests. They also introduced into their ‘experience’ concept their own merchandise, which is unique in each location and provides a huge income to the company.
Hard Rock is known for its extensive and museum-worthy memorabilia and merchandise. Today, its memorabilia collection is estimated to be worth $40 Million. Each restaurant rotates the items to keep the experience new.
2. As Hard Rock Café has changed its strategy, how has its responses to some of the 10 decisions of OM changed?
a. Design of goods and services
Hard Rock Café opted to put more value on local taste which meant a whole new lot of customized menus. “For instance, Hard Rock focuses less on hamburgers and beef and more on fish and lobster in its British cafes. Each meal goes through design, testing and evaluation just to deliver distinct Hard Rock experiences. “As an average customer only visits Hard Rock Café once a year, the quality must be exceptional every time.” In addition, surveys are done on a regular basis” to enhance customer experience at the café. This is Hard Rock Café’s commitment in making total experience as its edge over competition.
b. Managing Quality
“Each item on Hard Rock’s menu must receive a seven out of seven on quality surveys otherwise it is a failure.” This strict quality standard requires them to completely review their menus and conduct food research to guarantee its customers with the world class quality the café is known for.
c. Location Strategy
“70% of the Café’s customers are tourists. Thus, decline in tourism has an adverse effect on its business. This paved way for an opportunity for Hard Rock to develop non-standard tourist destinations as growth drivers during economic uncertainties. “Repeat business from locals will make them less dependent on tourists” and establish a new market segment altogether.
d. Layout Strategy
Hard Rock Café maintains an attractive layout in the store, attuned to local taste. The lighting, sound, and music, among others, are also important considerations in its layout decisions. Having no two similar cafes seals its experience differentiation strategy. Hard Rock's operations managers also efficiently lay out their kitchen facilities to carry out the company's principle of “serving hot food hot and cold food, cold. Additionally, the restaurant and bar layout are customized to guide the circulation of customers to memorabilia and merchandise.” The objective is to persuade customers to buy a souvenir and the overall positive brand experience will make them consider visiting Hard Rock again.
e. Human Resources and Job Design
The employees are the foundation of Hard Rock’s success. The Café prides itself in having robust training for all its recruited employees. Its belief is to always keep employees motivated and well-supported so that it...
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