The Hard Rock Café has begun system standardization for ease of use across the globe. Photo courtesy of Hard Rock Café

Beginning with one simple café in London, Hard Rock Café has evolved into one of the most recognized global brands of cafés, hotels and casinos. One guitar donated by Eric Clapton started the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, parts of which are displayed at each location. In the past 35 years, 138 locations in 42 countries possess the Hard Rock Café name. All of the 47 cafés in North America, 17 in Western Europe and three in Australia are corporate owned with the remaining properties in the East, Middle East and Central and South America operating as franchises.


In the past, each corporate-owned facility was responsible for its own security system, which resulted in many different approaches with little or no consistency. Recently, the company has begun standardizing the security systems at the corporate-owned cafés by consolidating security under one provider. Today the Hard Rock Café has completed consolidation of its security systems at its U.S. facilities and is working on doing the same in Europe and Australia.

Hard Rock made the decision to work with ADT Security Services for integration and installation because of the company’s ability to work globally and provide service around the world. “Working with one provider with a single point of contact makes managing our security systems on a day-to-day basis that much easier,” said Howard Long, senior director of café properties for Hard Rock Café. “From an operational standpoint, ADT is able to offer us consolidated billing, so we can manage the cost component of our security system more efficiently.”


Hard Rock Café facilities range in size from 6,500 square feet to the largest in Orlando at 60,000 square feet. The flagship café in New York’s Times Square is 40,000 square feet. The standard system for each facility includes eight to 16 cameras, burglar alarms and, in most cases, fire alarms. The cameras are generally located at entrances and exits, points-of-sale and cash registers with some cameras in nonpublic areas such as kitchens and service areas.

All locations have digital video recorders that run video over Hard Rock Café’s corporate network. The video is monitored locally and at the corporate level. The 45,000-square-foot Hard Rock Café corporate offices in Orlando also have deployed cameras and access control systems with about 100 to 150 access cards for employees.


According to Long, consolidating with one global provider also offered resources that allowed Hard Rock Café to expand beyond security. Cameras, for example, may be used to document events for risk management.

But Long believes the biggest benefit from consolidating Hard Rock’s security efforts is the ability to standardize the systems globally. A standardized system makes it easier to provide each café with the same high level of security and safety necessary for an active entertainment and restaurant establishment.


Long said Hard Rock’s efforts on a global basis are the real story behind the successful security effort. Worldwide locations from both companies allow for ADT experts and crews to be dispatched to many Hard Rock locations.

“The representative in Berlin knows where you can and cannot put a camera or where the best location for a fire alarm pull is… it helps to have local representation,” said Peter Marshall, the ADT national account manager. Local expertise can also offer other knowledge, like which standard equipment may be used.

Both Long and Marshall admit that there are challenges posed by language barriers and time differences – especially in Australia.

“When I get to work in Orlando they are just getting ready for bed in Sydney,” said Long. “We have found we need to step back and rely on the overall larger relationship we have to help guide us. It has worked so far and the more we have done it, the easier it has become.”