This Planet serves a little glitz and glamour with its burgers and fries. Planet Hollywood International operates and franchises a chain of about 15 showbiz-themed restaurants offering casual-dining fare (burgers, steaks, seafood) along with a collection of movie memorabilia and celebrity merchandise. The eateries are found mostly in tourist hotspots such as Las Vegas, London, and New York City's Times Square. The Planet Hollywood name also graces a Las Vegas resort casino (operated by Caesars Entertainment) and the company owns the Buca di Beppo chain through subsidiary BUCA. Chairman Robert Earl, who founded Planet Hollywood in 1991, controls the company in partnership with Bay Harbour Management.
While Planet Hollywood is in essence a restaurant operator, it might be more appropriately seen as being in the tourism and entertainment business. The company promotes its brand as a destination location for tourists to soak in some Hollywood glitz as part of the dining experience. It has also signed franchising agreements to expand the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain into India and Kuwait. A pioneer in themed dining, it competes most directly with fellow destination restaurant chains Hard Rock Cafe and Trader Vic's.
Earl's efforts to extend the Planet Hollywood brand beyond the restaurant business through partnerships in the gaming and hotel industry were shaken up in 2010 when Caesars Entertainment (then called Harrah's Entertainment) purchased the struggling Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. (The property operated as a separate entity from the Planet Hollywood restaurant business.) Previously the Aladdin Resort & Casino, the property was acquired in 2003 by Earl and joint venture partner Starwood Hotels from bankrupt Aladdin Gaming for $635 million. It reopened under the Planet Hollywood banner in 2007 after extensive renovations. Following the purchase, Earl's role in the property was reduced to consulting on marketing strategies for the casino. Caesars Entertainment also has the option to brand other international locations with the Planet Hollywood name through a licensing agreement.
In 2010 David Crabtree was hired as CEO to replace Earl, who stepped down but remained chairman of the company. Crabtree was previously with Westgate Resorts, a timeshare development subsidiary of Central Florida Investments. In addition to expanding the Planet Hollywood banner through new restaurants and licensing deals, his mandate also includes expanding the company's Buca di Beppo casual Italian chain, acquired for almost $10 million in 2008. – less