What would Hendrix say?

Hard Rock Cafe adopts corporate-wide life-safety standards
Friday, June 1, 2007

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.--Opened in 1971, the Hard Rock Cafe in London quickly became a popular destination spot and its iconic Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts a coveted souvenir. While today's patrons have 68 Hard Rock Cafes around the world to choose from if they want a shirt, disruption of business at the flagship London cafe because of a 2005 fire made the executive management of the cafe reexamine its life-safety systems and led eventually to the implementation of new standards
Speaking at the Hard Rock Hotel here, Howard Long, senior director of cafe properties for the Hard Rock Cafe, said the standards (which cover required security, fire and fire suppression equipment and the servicing of that equipment) "were established to apply to all Hard Rock Cafe locations and in some cases exceed local requirements." Long noted that general managers of individual cafes make independent decisions about them, but they may not make autonomous decisions about life-safety equipment and service in their establishments--even if local requirements are less stringent that the Hard Rock Cafe's.
Pete Marshall, national account manager ADT security services, was instrumental in putting together the master agreement. All of the equipment is provided by ADT parent company Tyco. "ADT does not provide suppression equipment, but SimplexGrinnell does," Marshall said.
Marshall worked with SimplexGrinnell and Tyco Fire Europe to accomplish the goals outlined in the agreement. The fact that ADT has a global presence was important to Long.
"Everytime I said we want to go to a new location [for a cafe], Pete said 'We're there,'" Long explained. He cited Berlin, Germany, and Melbourne, Australia, as examples.
The agreement "ensures that what happens in St. Louis also happens in Munich," Long said, streamlining security and safety operations of the chain and also providing a blueprint when new cafes are opened.
The master agreement was five months in the making--ADT used Hughes Associates to help them draft the life-safety standards--and had been in place for 18 months in April.
From the beginning, Long said he had buy-in on the master agreement plan from executive decision makers. "When you see your European flagship go down [for five months in 2005], you can see your business going down," Long said. "They said, 'This cannot happen again, let's do what we need to do to make sure this does not happen again.'"