Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl has launched UK company Earl Enterprises to drive the expansion of his restaurant brands in the UK as well into new markets in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and India.
Earl Enterprises is the new parent company of Planet Hollywood movie themed restaurants, Earl of Sandwich sandwich bars and Buca di Beppo "family style" Italian eateries.
Alex Garland, who has spent the last 10 years heading up the London division of Planet Hollywood, has been appointed managing director of the new business.
Garland, who has already taken up his position, said: "We have some incredible brands that have global appeal, and we are now developing significant opportunities to secure partners we want to work with in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and India.
"I believe we are on track to maintain the growth patterns we have seen in the USA in other worldwide markets."
Earl Enterprises is seeking partners worldwide to support its plans to grow into new markets, either through partnerships or a franchise mode, with Garland already scouting Moscow and Mumbai as possible locations for new restaurants.
Robert Earl opened the first Planet Hollywood restaurant with partners Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in New York in 1991. Since that then, the brand has opened in locations across the world including London's West End, Kuwait, Cancun in Mexico and Las Vegas.
Earl founded the Earl of Sandwich - which sells hot sandwiches - in 2004, in a partnership with Lord Sandwich, the 11th Earl of Sandwich. He bought the Buca di Beppo Italian restaurant chain in 2008 which he has now established in 28 States across the USA.
Five Buca di Beppo restaurants have been launched in the UK in a partnership with the Village Hotels group, and the Earl of Sandwich has opened in the City of London.
Garland is understood to be keen to emulate the success in the US, where the most popular of the 22 Earl of Sandwich outlets - at Disneyland in Orlando - turns over $10m (£6.6m) annually, while the Buca di Beppo franchise is well established with 100 restaurants across the USA.