Hard Rock Cafe renovates stores to house concerts

ORLANDO, FL: It may have taken 30 years, but rock music is finally coming to the Hard Rock Cafe.

ORLANDO, FL: It may have taken 30 years, but rock music is finally coming to the Hard Rock Cafe.

ORLANDO, FL: It may have taken 30 years, but rock music is finally coming to the Hard Rock Cafe.

As part of an ongoing effort to spice up its brand image and move it beyond the floundering theme-restaurant industry, the Florida-based company announced last week that it would begin redesigning many of the 55 Hard Rock restaurants it still owns (an additional 48 are franchises) to accommodate live performances. And according to Michael Kempner, CEO of the MWW group, Hard Rock's agency of record, this is only the beginning.

'We have been working to reposition the brand beyond the core restaurant business and into the 21st century,' said Kempner. Indeed, Hard Rock, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is revamping its Web site into a music-oriented portal, and last week announced a deal with eBay whereby the companies would jointly auction off rock memorabilia.

There are also Hard Rock hotels in the works, as well as new merchandise, new menu items and expanded restaurant hours on the way.

Although the company's signature T-shirt is still the best selling in the world, overall merchandise sales in recent years have slumped. Nonetheless, its restaurant revenues have steadily risen. That is decidedly against the grain in its corner of the industry, as other theme restaurants have been closing locations as sales have fallen.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in