Hard Rock Cafe - Sydney
The Hospitality Industry News (A Division of APN Australia)
Restaurants, Bars, Australia
After closing in 2007, Sydney's Hard Rock Cafe has reopened as a franchise in Darling Harbour, with more sites expected to pop up across the country in the coming years. American Indian Tribe, Seminole, bought the Hard Rock Cafe brand at the end of 2006, closing and moving a number of sites in various countries, Sydney included.
The new Sydney site is situated above the Rock Shop in Darling Harbour, with the 500-seat cafe including outdoor terrace seating, a live music area and Rock Shop, featuring Hard Rock's merchandise.
Dean Neill of TNG Hospitality Management trading as Hard Rock Australia and the master franchisor for Hard Rock Australia, said the company's expansion plans are based around franchising. "They [Seminole Tribe] decided to franchise out more of the cafes. Now over half of the Hard Rock cafes are franchised and in 2008 my business partners and I bought the franchise to Hard Rock Australia, so that gives us the rights to open in Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Perth, and as a separate sales agreement we purchased Surfers Paradise Hard Rock Cafe from Hard Rock America." Hard Rock Cafe Surfers Paradise, which has been open for 14 years, and Hard Rock Cafe Sydney, which opened earlier this month, are the only two franchises open in Australia, but Neill will be opening new stores over the next four or five years, Neill told Franchising. "We plan to grow, but we're owner operators so we won't franchise them out to others. We will open Melbourne, Cairns and Perth, and there are a couple of other sites that are of interest to us. "The reason Hard Rock America now chooses to franchise out these cafes more than they did before is because they thought local operators could work with local trends and maximise opportunities in the local market more than they could by running them from overseas," he said.
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