In the late 1990s McDonaldĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s headquarters in Chicago decided to launch a Ă˘â‚¬ËśĂ˘â‚¬ËśdiversificationĂ˘â‚¬â„˘Ă˘â‚¬â„˘ strategy to foster new ideas and concepts worldwide. One of the initiatives came from McDonaldĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Swiss branch. Urs Hammer, the then head of McDonaldĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Switzerland, proposed extending the brand into the hotel business by leveraging McDonaldĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s image of cleanliness and fast, friendly service. With McDonaldĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s strong global brand recognition, Hammer was convinced the project would be a success. In 2001 McDonaldĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s opened two hotels, one in Zurich and one in Lully, under the name Ă˘â€šÂ¬ Ă˘â‚¬ËśĂ˘â‚¬ËśGolden Arch HotelĂ˘â‚¬â„˘Ă˘â‚¬â„˘ with room rates slightly about $100 a night. The hotels were positioned as four-star accommodations with cutting-edge inroom technology and unique, modern interior design. The hotels offered high-speed Internet access and an online booking system with special Internet rates. Beds featured distinctive arch-shaped headboards. The target markets encompassed business travelers during weekdays and young adults on weekends. What is your view about the selection of Switzerland as the first market for the Golden Arch Hotel concept? Do you see potential to extend the concept to other countries and if so which ones? (See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcDFn-LzU0.)
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