Hard-Rock Cafe and the Starbucks Cafe Essay

Brief company introduction
Starbucks and Hard Rock café are globally renowned companies in the restaurant sector. Starbucks Corporation was established in 1971 by Gordon Bowker, Jerry Balswin and Zev Siegl (Starbucks, 2013). It is famous American coffeehouse company that operates more than 20,000 stores in the United States and 62 other countries across the world. It has been ranked as the largest coffeehouse company globally. The cafe specializes in hot and cold beverages and snacks. Starbucks’ headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington, United States. On the other hand, Hard Rock Cafe is a renowned restaurant established in 1971 by Perter Moton and Isaac Tigrett (Hard Rock, 2013). It started with a single cafe located in London. Currently, the company operates 167 stores in 56 different countries across the world. It is headquartered in Orlando, Florida, United States, where the largest store is located. This paper compares the operations of Starbucks Cafe with those of Hard-Rock Café in Kuwait.

Comparison of the operations
Starbucks and Hard Rock Cafe have similar attributes in terms of the location of their cafes. Starbucks stores are situated in highly visible places. These include centralized cities. Eventually, the company expands into nearby markets. This explains why Starbucks operates 20,891 cafes in various countries across the world. However, more than half of these cafes are located in the United States. Other countries with more stores include Canada, Japan, China, South Korea, United Kingdom, Mexico , Germany, the Philippines and Turkey. In a similar way, Hard Rock Cafes are located in major cuties. Since most of its customers are tourists, Hard Rock has often targeted locations that are perceived to be destination cities as ideal locations for its cafes. Besides the Hard Rock Cafes in Kuwait, the company has other 166 cafes in major destination cities across 56 counties across the world.

Starbucks and Hard Rock differ in terms of their products and services. On one hand, Starbucks specializes in coffee beverages, food items, and coffer-related products. One remarkable feature about Starbucks is that its coffee beverages are standardized across all its outlets. However, its food offerings vary from one store to another. On the other hand, Hard Rock Cafe varies its products so as to match local menu, tastes and preferences. For example, it emphasizes more on fish and lobsters in its cafes situated in British as opposed to Hamburgers and beef in its American Cafes (Pendergrast, 2001 p. 118). In regard to pricing, Starbucks has a premium pricing. This is based on its commitment towards the provision of quality products as well as its high-level customer service. Hard Rock’s pricing varies from one cafe to another and is significantly affected by economic fluctuations.

Starbucks differs with Hard Rock Café differ in terms of retail strategy. In this regard, Starbucks’ retail strategy is designed with the primary aim of maintaining customer loyalty. As such, it hires competent counter servers who often educate customers regarding the Café’s specify coffee drinks and other products. The company has also invested heavily in increasing its brand awareness. On the other hand, Starbucks has committed itself towards providing exclusive and unique visual and sound experience. In this regard, Hard Rock Cafes serve food and rock music simultaneously.

Starbucks has also established numerous partnerships, which have enabled it to pursue and extensive product line. Besides coffee, Starbucks currently offers flavored ice creams and other products. The company has also established various distribution alliances with companies such as United Airlines, Pepsi-Co, Barnes & Noble bookstores, Holland America Cruise Lines, Capital Records, among others. This is aimed at expanding its products lines as well as distribution portfolios. On the other hand, Hard Rock has opted to pursue differentiation strategy with the aim of increasing its revenues.

Besides selling foods, the company has ventured into other businesses such as casinos and hotels. It also collects musical memoralia.

In conclusion, both Starbucks and Hard Rock are large restaurants that have been in operation since 1971. Besides operating in restaurant sector, these two companies vary in terms of their operations. They differ sharply in their pricing strategies, products and services as well as specialization.

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