Looking back through our blogs, one thing we may have been guilty of is implying that each operation has one set of order winners (OWs). But that’s not the case. If an operation has more than one market, it needs to design a set of OWs for each of those markets.
I was recently reminded of this when looking through the media reports of the new look Hard Rock Café. Whereas the hotel business, by definition, serves the ‘tourist’ i.e. people staying away from home, the restaurant business generally serves ‘locals’ i.e. customers who work or live near to the operation. This applies even to global restaurant brands. So when McDonalds opened their first outlet in Moscow, it was not tourists queuing round the block to buy a burger, it was Muscovites. Of course, tourists do use globally branded restaurants, and in some (but very few) locations the proportion of tourists is high (Orlando for instance). But in most cases, the restaurant business is local – which is why fast food chains and others adapt their menus and their concept in order to appeal to local customers.
The interesting thing about Hard Rock Café is that it has always been conceived to serve both locals and tourists. This is best exemplified by the decor, retailing and memorabilia in each outlet. Across the chain, for continuity with tourists, their are some high recognition performers that feature in every restaurant, such as Elvis,the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. And of course, each outlets sells T-Shirts and sweat shirts with the name of each city on them. Whilst for the locals, wherever possible, there will be memorabilia reflecting performers and bands from that city, and menu items reflecting local cuisine. So the ‘secret’ is to to have enough homogeneity across the chain, so that each restaurant is ‘authentic’ and reliable, but some heterogeneity in order to spark the interest of both the tourist and local customer. Restaurant staff will also
In the last few weeks, Hard Rock has launched an entirely new menu, and they continue to apply their local/international philosophy. Aware that some local customers think of the concept as only being for tourists, as part of their relaunch they have invited local journalists to try out the new cocktails and dishes – with generally great success. This restaurant review from the Baltimore Examiner is typical.