Simple promise, genuine success
For the late Ueli Prager, the founder of Mövenpick, the key to a successful business was a simple idea.
"We aren't doing anything extraordinary," he was fond of saying. "We are simply successful because we are doing quite normal things in an extraordinary manner."
It was a philosophy that revolutionised the European restaurant business and inspired a completely new generation of hospitality. Today, Prager's words continue to resonate through Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts as the company prepares to have 100 hotels open by 2015.
|2015||In 2015, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts aims to have 100 properties open across the world and by 2012 the company will be completely Green Globe certified.|
|2010||In 2010, for the second consecutive year, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts achieved the highest ranking in the upscale segment of the European Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power and Associates.|
|2005||By 2005 the company had launched hotels in Tanzania and Mauritius and Asian expansion had become irrisistible. Following successful openings in Thailand and the Philippines, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts unveiled its first Indian property in Bangalore in 2011.|
|2001||In 2001, the first Mövenpick hotels and resorts appeared along the northern coast of Africa with openings in Tunisia and Morocco. Two years later, the company was being recognised as the "fastest growing hotel chain in the Middle East" at London's World Travel Market.|
|1999||A year later, Jean Gabriel Pérès took over as President and CEO of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. Bringing a wealth of five-star hotel experience from the Middle East and Asia, the new President set about harmonising the company. Hotels that were not up to standard were removed from the portfolio, new standardisation procedures were implemented and expansion "on a human scale" began.|
|1998||In 1998, the company was divided into four separate business units to allow greater flexibility: Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Mövenpick Gastronomy, Mövenpick Wine and Mövenpick Fine Foods.|
|1992||In 1992, Prager sold his company and today it is privately owned by Mövenpick Holding (66.7%) and the Kingdom Group (33.3%). However, the legacy for innovation still continues.|
|1991||The company expanded into luxury cruisers on the Nile and in 1991 the HS Radamis set off on her maiden voyage under the Mövenpick flag between Aswan and Luxor. Now, there are three Mövenpick cruisers operating on the Nile and Lake Nasser.|
|1976||Prager saw huge potential in Egypt and his first hotel outside Europe was the Mövenpick Hotel Jolie Ville in Cairo close to the pyramids in 1976. Expansion then continued to Luxor and the Red Sea, a destination previously ignored by hoteliers. Prager was also one of the first hospitality pioneers to test the concept of hotel management contracts in 1976. Soon he was opening restaurants in New York, Toronto and across Germany. By 1986, he had unveiled the Mövenpick Beijing, once again defying critics who claimed the Chinese market was too difficult.|
|1973||Two hotels open in Switzerland at Zurich-Airport and Zurich-Regensdorf marking the official launch of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts.|
|1966||When Prager turned to hotels, he capitalised on the company's reputation for quality food, affordability, staff training and innovation. After the construction of the Jolie Ville Motor Inn near Zurich in 1966, the Mövenpick hotel group was launched with the opening of two hotels in Zurich, near the airport and in Regensdorf. At the time, hotels at airports were considered unnecessary, but for Prager they were an overlooked opportunity. As an innovator, he was light years ahead of a competition that was still following the conventions of out-dated tradition.|
|1948||It has been an astonishing journey that started when Prager was strolling the shores of Lake Zurich more than 60 years ago. Stopping to watch a seagull (or "Möwe" in German) swoop down to skilfully pick up food mid-flight, Prager was instantly inspired to create the Mövenpick restaurant concept. It was a simple idea, serving the highest quality food at affordable prices in the fastest possible time. It was the right idea at the right time. Prager's first restaurant opened in Zurich in 1948 offering "luxury food" such as salmon, lobster and oyster at prices people were happy to pay. The concept was the first of many innovations.
New dishes such as the curry-based "Riz Casimir" were added (spicy food was new to Switzerland); wine was served by the glass (rather than by the bottle as tradition dictated); great emphasis was placed on employee training (something unheard of outside of America) and Prager took advantage of the new Swiss motorway as the perfect place to serve a new generation of hungry car travellers.