Published: 24 May 2013

Planet Hollywood owner funds new scholarship at Surrey

Robert Earl, owner of the Planet Hollywood chain and the Earl of Sandwich restaurant franchise, has set up a scholarship fund at the University of Surrey where he was once a student.

After graduating from Surrey with an honours degree in Hotel and Catering Management, Robert started the first Planet Hollywood restaurant in New York in 1991. Launched with the backing of Hollywood actors Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Demi Moore, Planet Hollywood soon grew to be an international chain. Robert’s background also includes five years as CEO of Hard Rock Café and a directorship of Pelican Group PLC, where he oversaw the growth of brands like Café Rouge, Dôme and Mamma Amalfi.

Offered to students on SHTM’s undergraduate BSc programmes, The Robert Earl Scholarship Fund will help UK/EU students in the School undertake international exchanges or Professional Training placements in an overseas organisation. Scholarships will be worth up to £2,500 and are initially available for students going on exchange in the 2013/14 academic year.

Robert also offers a Professional Training placement for one SHTM undergraduate student each year at his Planet Hollywood Orlando restaurant, providing them with valuable experience and the chance to be involved in the operations of a global business.

The announcement of the Scholarship Fund came at an evening reception at Planet Hollywood in London. Attended by over 130 students, staff, alumni and industry contacts, the event featured talks from Professor David Allen (Dean of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Law), Professor Graham Miller (Head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management) and Robert Earl himself.

Thanks to over 40 years of teaching and research excellence, many of SHTM’s alumni have gone on to become world-leaders in their industries. The Robert Earl Scholarship Fund is a perfect demonstration of this, and of the School’s unrivalled connections with key figures in hospitality and tourism.

For more information on the Scholarship Fund, please contact Ms Louise Lawton on or on 01483 686322.

For more information on how you can help the School with scholarships or other support, please contact Ms Lucy Evans on or 01483 683105.

Share what you've read?