Hard Rock Café is a chain of restaurants that was founded by Peter Morton and Isaac Tigrett in 1971. Though they were Americans, the first Hard Rock Café was in London, England and it was a theme restaurant that had it walls covered with rock and roll memorabilia. However, it started to expand in 1982 into other countries like Canada France and the US. In 1995 it ventured into the hotel and casino business with their first casino in Las Vegas (Grushkin, Selvin, & Routhier, 2001).
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Hard Rock Café has invested heavily in its product design process. This is because customer preferences and needs are constantly changing and they have had to address these changing preferences to maintain a competitive edge in the restaurant and hotel market. Due to its global network the company is in a better position to adapt quickly in response to the changing tastes and preferences, especially due to their theme venture.
Their strategic managers have had to incorporate technology in the restaurant’s service delivery, such as the use of the internet in advertising and also in making orders and reservations for their high end products. This has boosted them in maximizing customer satisfaction, as convenience is key in customer service (Heizer & Render,1996).
The company has adopted the differentiation, cost leadership and rapid response strategies in their product development. This is to make sure that it stays relevant in the market by being different from other restaurants, being cost sensitive and incorporating customer needs into their products as soon as they arise.
The decision makers have always taken pride in having close relationships with both their suppliers and customers hence the need to consult with them during product design. The Hard Rock Café managers have a strict policy on the observation of safety, health and hygiene regulations in their decision making, and therefore, all products that they design are in line with these product principles.
Hard rock café products’ lifecycle is greatly influenced by customer preferences. They start by consultation to identify the prevailing customer needs in the market and the cycles end when the sales of the particular product plummet such that it is no longer profitable to continue producing it (Blythe, 2008).
Their products go through four stages in their lifecycles, which are; introduction, growth, maturity, and the decline stage. When a need is identified in the market and a product is designed it is introduced in the company’s restaurants and if customers like it, it is further popularized to boost its market’s growth. With a stable market at maturity, the restaurants reap maximum profits, but these reduce as the product goes through the decline stage where sales plummet.
Hard Rock Café considers different issues in its product development to ensure that it maintains a competitive advantage in the market. For instance, the decision makers have been forced to modify their menu from the basic burgers, beverages and fries, to other high end items that increase customer satisfaction.
Also, with the current trend of healthy eating they have had to come up with diet meals for the section of the market that is health sensitive. As noted by Blythe, (2008), the company has always ensured that it conditions its product design process according to the customer’s needs. To ensure that they maintain customer loyalty the company has also tailored their product design in a way that ensures maximum efficiency in service delivery.
Their products have to take the shortest time possible to produce so as to quickly meet customer needs especially at peak hours. The management has observed that certain peak periods generate a lot of customer orders, and in their bid to maximize on customer loyalty, they have to conveniently serve these peak time orders efficiently. For instance there are more rock and roll enthusiasts during the holidays hence an in influx of customers during this time.
Blythe, J. (2008). Consumer behavior. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Grushkin, P., Selvin, J. and Routhier, S. (2001). Treasures of the Hard Rock Cafe: The Official Guide to the Hard Rock Cafe Memorabilia Collection. Winnetka, Illinois: Rare Air Media,
Heizer, J. and Render, B. (1996). Production & operations management. Prentice Hall series in decision sciences. New York: Prentice Hall.