McDonald's To Open Swiss Hotels - First of Golden Arch Hotels To Open At Zurich Airport with 211 Rooms
Would you like a queen-sized bed with that burger?
"In fact, innovation is an integral part of our vision for McDonald's in the 21st century", said Jack Greenberg, chairman and CEO of the McDonald's Corporation, in a video message shown during the Media conference. "I am pleased to see McDonald's Switzerland working on this unique hotel initiative. Over the years, this team's willingness to experiment in reaching more customers in different places has extended to trains, airplanes and even mountain tops. Now, they are extending the great McDonald's experience to a hotel that will attract both business
travelers and families."
Since its start in 1976 McDonald's Switzerland has been a success story, opening 116 restaurants all over the country, constantly looking for new ways to strengthen the McDonald's brand and attract new customers.
The first two Golden Arch hotels will open next spring in the Zurich-Airport region and on a new stretch of highway in the French speaking part of Switzerland, connecting Germany and Austria with France. The two hotels will have 211 and 80 rooms respectively. They are in the range of four-star hotels, targeted at business travelers during the week and at families and young adults on the weekends.
Among the various attractions of the Golden Arch hotels Is a special 4000-Dollar-bed. "sit'n'sleep" can be turned from a couch into a top of the line comfort bed. The Golden Arch hotels will offer high speed Internet access, a state-of-the -art online booking system, revolutionary easy check-in and check-out and special Internet rates for those who book the rooms over the www.goldenarchhotel.com homepage.
The Golden Arch Hotels idea was launched by Urs Hammer, Chairman and CEO of McDonald's Suisse Holding SA, the Swiss partner of the McDonald's Corporation. Before joining the McDonald's organization Hammer was himself a hotel manager with international experience in Asia and Europe. "Golden Arch opens a new business field for us and is a new stand-alone brand. At the same time we will be able to use synergies with our restaurant business regarding the customers, logistics and human resources. And of course we can build on the unmatchable expertise of McDonald's in serving customers and making them feel at home", says the innovative 53 year old Chairman of McDonald's Switzerland.
McDonald's Corp. is getting into the hotel business with a plan to open two Golden Arch Hotels – dubbed "McHotels" by one spokeswoman – next year in Switzerland.
McDonald's will aim to make them four-star accommodations, with rooms for around $100. They will cater to business professionals during the week and families and young adults on weekends. Among other things, the rooms will have Internet access.
Guests "know they're going to get quality and value," Walt Riker, a spokesman at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., said Friday. "And if it works in our restaurant, as it does, it will work in a hotel."
It has been chief executive Jack Greenberg's goal to take McDonald's beyond its fast-food restaurants. In this country, the company is trying its hand at "casual dining" with the Chipotle chain of Mexican restaurants, a pizza chain and the Boston Market restaurants.
At least one analyst advised McDonald's to keep its focus on fast food.
"That is what McDonald's is. Them trying to reinvent something else is always going to be a distraction," said Douglas Christopher, an analyst with Crowell, Weedon & Co. in Los Angeles.
The first of the Golden Arch hotels will open in the spring near the Zurich airport and will have 211 rooms.
Medienstelle Golden Arch Hotels
Phone: +41 (0)1 209 60 11
Fax: +41 (0)1 209 60 10