Our Story


    When Swiss hotelier, the late Ueli Prager, founded the Mövenpick brand in 1948, he redefined the European restaurant scene and paved the way for a new style of modern hospitality, conceived on a simple premise: ‘doing normal things in an extraordinary manner’. A visionary of his time, Prager created a restaurant concept based on simplicity, innovation, commitment to service and a passion for culinary and hospitality excellence, and the rest, as they say, is history.


    Where everything begun


    1948


    Mövenpick’s first restaurant opens
    Zurich, Switzerland



    1948

    Mövenpick’s astonishing journey began when Prager was strolling the shores of Lake Zurich with a friend. He had been searching for a name for his new restaurant concept – a ‘dining bar’ where guests could relax and eat high-quality food at affordable prices. As he considered the possibilities, a seagull (or Möwe in German), swooped down to skilfully pick up food mid-flight. That one elegant movement encapsulated Prager’s vision and so ‘Mövenpick’ (Möwe pick), and Europe’s first casual dining experience, was born. Prager’s first restaurant, Claridenhof, opened in Zurich in July 1948, offering simple dishes that could be ordered à la carte - a refreshing alternative to set menus. It was considered unconventional for Swiss restaurants and was the first of many Mövenpick innovations. Twenty-five years later, in 1973, Prager capitalised on Mövenpick’s reputation for quality food, affordability, staff training standards and innovation by opening the company’s first two hotels, both in Zurich – one at the airport and the other in Regensdorf. At the time, airport hotels were considered unnecessary, but for Prager they were an overlooked opportunity. As an innovator, he was light years ahead of the competition, which was reluctant to break with tradition.


    THE RIGHT IDEA AT THE RIGHT TIME


    1950


    Several Mövenpick restaurants open across Switzerland



    60 YEARS OF WINE EXPERIENCE


    1962


    The first Mövenpick Wein (Mövenpick Wine) store opens



    FIRST BRANDED GOODS


    1963


    Mövenpick Coffee launches, the start of Mövenpick Fine Foods business



    A PASSION FOR THE EXTRAORDINARY


    1968


    Mövenpick Ice Cream launches



    A NEW STYLE OF MODERN HOSPITALITY


    1973


    Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts established – 2 hotels open near Zurich, Switzerland


    INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION BEGINS


    1976


    The first international Mövenpick hotel opens in Cairo, Egypt



    THE EXPANSION CONTINUES


    1980


    The brand debuts in Germany with new hotels



    THE COMPANY DEBUTS IN JORDAN


    1996


    The first Middle East property opens in Jordan



    SUCCESFUL MIDDLE EAST EXPANSION


    2001 - 2003


    First hotels in the Gulf: UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar



    MÖVENPICK REACHES ASIA


    2006


    First hotel in the Far East – Thailand



    COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES


    2017


    Mövenpick becomes the most Green-Globe-certified hotel company in the world



    PRAGER’S LEGACY LIVES ON


    2018


    The Mövenpick Group marks its 70th anniversary



    Mövenpick takes flight with AccorHotels


    2018


    Mövenpick takes flight with AccorHotels, a world-leading travel & lifestyle
    group and digital innovator. Discover more about AccorHotels’ extraordinary collection of brands here