Hard Rock History
Hard Rock and the Seminole Tribe of Florida: the perfect marriage of two kindred spirits. Hard Rock's philosophy has always been based on strong values, including the importance of being authentic and independent and a shared service for preserving our wildlife and protecting the planet. Building on its rich heritage of courageous and groundbreaking achievements, the Seminole Tribe of Florida acquired the Hard Rock brand in 2007 and is now poised to expand its horizon even further, to all corners of the globe. To learn more about the Seminole Tribe of Florida and their rich history, visit www.seminoletribe.com.
Some companies have a history that stays firmly in the past. We're fortunate to have a legacy that permeates our present like a classic song, not with nostalgia, but as the reminder of a timeless foundation and simple beginnings. When you consider we have hundreds of unique locations, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos and live music venues, around the world, it’s hard to believe that it all started so innocently: the search for a good burger.
Read on to discover who was the first to put their guitar on our walls, how we came by our famous t-shirts, and to get an idea of where we're heading in the future...
THE PILLARS OF OUR BRAND
Our brand? It feels a little strange to call it that because it wasn’t born out of a boardroom or some marketing strategy. It started as a craving for some good American grub, a penchant for fun, a zen faith in serendipity, and a passion for rock ‘n’ roll.
And that’s what it comes down to: music. We didn’t create it, but we celebrate it each and every day with a commitment to deliver authentic experiences that rock. It’s not just a nice idea. It’s a reality that we bring to life with six crucial components. These are the things that help make Hard Rock the world’s premier experience driven aspirational Music lifestyle brand.
Without music, we've got nothing. We're just a place with good food. And hey, nothing wrong with that, but we could never deny that music is our bloodline, our DNA, our soul. So we turn our music up because we don't believe in "background music". We create living monuments and shrines with our epic memorabilia displays. We put on the best concerts in our Cafes, Hotels, Casinos and Hard Rock Live venues. We host Hard Rock Rising, a global battle of the bands where the prize is to perform during halftime at Hard Rock Stadium. We're not fans, we're disciples and our religion is music.
Forget what you think you know; our food is made by hand, from scratch with the finest ingredients. So that means that the pico de gallo is made every morning, our steaks are nothing less than center-cut USDA choice, corn-fed and aged for 21 days and that our dedicated produce specialist is constantly searching for the highest quality produce for our salads. From day one, we were serious about serving fresh, handmade, classic American cooking with a Southern flair that couldn't help but reflect co-founder Isaac Tigrett's Tennessee roots. Even as our menu expands to encompass the best of local cuisines around the world, serving up the good stuff is still and forever our gig.
It started when a Hard Rock sponsored a local sports team. The white shirt with the Hard Rock logo on front was the team uniform. But everybody liked them so much that the Cafe started handing out the extras to loyal customers and then they started selling them. And soon enough those shirts had become a rock 'n' roll uniform for half the planet and the best-selling keepsakes on earth. But if we've done our jobs right, then our merchandise becomes more than just a souvenir, it becomes more like a concert tee: A memento of great time.
Andy Warhol once called us "the Smithsonian of rock and roll." And he wasn't lying. Madonna's BoyToy Wedding Dress… John Lennon's glasses... Jim Morrison's leather pants... The doors of the Abbey Road Studios... Elvis' studded jumpsuit… Frank Sinatra's tuxedo... Michael Jackson's red "Beat It" jacket...
Our memorabilia is both our own selfish fanaticism to hoard the coolest things we've ever seen and an honorable mission to share it with the world.
From the day the first Hard Rock Cafe opened in that elegant former Rolls Royce dealership in that elegant edifice on London's elegant Park Lane, the brand has always been, in part, about the building. And when the building isn't an actual landmark – unlike, for instance, our Chicago hotel – then it just might be an incredible and brash, simulation. Like Orlando's over-the-top neo-Coliseum, the great phoenix-like logo in Phoenix, AZ or one of our run-of-the mill 100-foot neon guitars. Why do we do this? Because every building serves not only as a high-impact billboard, but as monument to the values and aesthetics of the Hard Rock brand. This is the house that rock built and the people deserve a palace to take over.
While we appreciate the lo-fi, the vintage and the classic, we are constantly embracing the new. Technology is now 100% interwoven into our daily lives and we would be fools (and kinda lame) if we didn't take full advantage of it. That's why we have our Rock Walls, Booth Interactive and touchscreen technology that allows a guest in Biloxi to check out the best pieces of our memorabilia collection, even if it's currently on a wall in Bali or a display case in Barcelona. It's why our VIBE Hosts are literally attached to a touchscreen tablet that allows them to control the music videos that pop up on our high definition screens while they roam the cafe. We are not just doing all of this to satisfy an insatiable thirst for technology. We are doing this because we would rather define the future of hospitality than just participate in it.