Founder & CEO, Planet Hollywood International
Board Member, School of Hospitality Administration Advisory Board
Recognized as a leading figure in the hospitality and food & beverage industries, Robert Earl is the founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood International, Inc and the chairman of the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A lifetime entrepreneur, Earl founded President Entertainment in 1977, a British company specializing in theme restaurants that grew from a modest start-up to a company valued at more than $100 million when he agreed to sell the company to Pleasurama in 1998. Earl was invited by Pleasurama to join its executive team and orchestrated the acquisition of Hard Rock Café. During his five-year tenure as the CEO of Hard Rock Café, Earl oversaw the expansion of the brand from its initial seven units to 22 units, and dramatically increased the company’s profitability. This growth was a direct result of aggressive marketing and non-stop positive press capitalizing on Earl’s vision to use the allure of celebrity and creative events to earn Hard Rock Café a mystique that separated it from its competition.
In 1991, Earl founded the Planet Hollywood brand and brought theme dining to a new level. As CEO of Planet Hollywood International, Inc., Earl negotiated celebrity partnerships and orchestrated Hollywood-style premiere grand openings. With his expertise in creating a fully integrated and unique dining experience Earl created a brand that achieved global acclaim in just a few short years.
In June, 2003, Earl purchased the Aladdin Resort and Casino located in the heart of the famed Las Vegas Strip. After a complete renovation, the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino was launched in 2007. The 2,600 room property features highly coveted restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, full service spa and gym and a high-tech gaming floor. In early 2010 Earl sold the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino to Caesars Entertainment.
Earl announced a partnership with Lord Sandwich, the 11th Earl of Sandwich, to launch Earl of Sandwich shops in the United States in 2003. The first gourmet sandwich shop opened in March, 2004, at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort in the Downtown Disney® Marketplace. Outlets are now open in major tourist destinations including London, Disneyland® Village Paris, New York City, Las Vegas, across the state of Florida, inside the historic Boston Common, in Anaheim at Downtown Disney® and in the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City.
In October 2006, Earl became a partner of an English Premier League soccer club. As a shareholder in the Everton Football Club, Earl turned his love of sport into a business venture.
In late 2008, to further solidify his place as a leader and pioneer of themed restaurants, Earl acquired casual dining company, Buca Inc. and its chain of close to one hundred Buca di Beppo restaurants. Since the acquisition, Earl has injected his formidable energy into the franchise, revamping the menu to include fresh, daily-made sauces as well as new menu items to broaden the restaurants’ appeal that embodies the Italian traditions of food, friendship, and fun. The Buca di Beppo chain, known for its quirky décor and upbeat atmosphere, has locations from New York City to Honolulu and international expansion with locations in the United Kingdom and one in the Mexico City metropolitan area with more to follow.
Mr. Earl and his wife Tricia live in Orlando, FL., and have three children, Beth, Cara, and Robbie