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Discover Mövenpick

Our story

About our history

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 ordinary things in an extraordinary way’. 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 began


Mövenpick’s first restaurant opens

Zurich, Switzerland

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


Several Mövenpick restaurants open across Switzerland


60 years of wine experience


The first Mövenpick Wein (Mövenpick Wine) store opens

First branded goods


Mövenpick Coffee launches, the start of Mövenpick Fine Foods business

A passion for the extraordinary


Mövenpick Ice Cream launches

A new style of modern hospitality


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

International expansion begins


The first international Mövenpick hotel opens in Cairo, Egypt

The expansion continues


The brand debuts in Germany with new hotels

The company debuts in jordan


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


First hotel in the Far East – Thailand

Commitment to sustainable practices


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


Prager’s legacy lives on


The Mövenpick Group marks its 70th anniversary


Mövenpick takes flight with accorhotels


Mövenpick takes flight with AccorHotels, a world-leading travel & lifestyle
group and digital innovator. 

Mövenpick continues to grow in Asia


First Resorts open in Cam Rahn & Phu Quoc Vietnam.

Mövenpick arrives down under


First Hotels open in Hobart & Melbourne

Nourishing the planet

We believe the greatest indulgence is giving back to create a brighter future, a refreshing approach that has made Mövenpick a sustainability leader

Food & Drink

We’ve been making mouth-watering moments for more than 70 years, creating culinary experiences that are bursting with flavour.