This Globally Renowned Restaurant Owned by Hollywood Celebs is Set to Woo India

The movie-inspired eatery is now looking at creating a name for itself in India, albeit with a Bollywood remix

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By Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur India

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For us Indians, there are few things that take top places on our priority list and finding a permanent place in the list are food, cricket and movies. So it's not surprising that businesses often tend to create a brand that involves all three of them as it sells. Global brands too have recognised the market in the same and are entering the Indian ecosystem.

Internationally renowned Planet Hollywood that shot to fame because of its celebrity founding members. It was founded in 1991 by Robert Earl along with celebs like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Their signature movie-inspired eateries are now looking at creating a name for itself in India, albeit with a Bollywood remix.

Entrepreneur India caught up with Alex Garland, Managing Director for Europe, Middle East & India - ‎Earl Enterprises, as he spoke about India expansion plans and how they plan to tweak their model for the Indian audience.

Movie Memorabilia & Food!

If you look them up on Twitter, their Vegas branch claims it is the "Home of Britney Spears, JLo & Backstreet Boys" What more could one ask for?

Planet Hollywood has a movie inspired or what they like to call an "eatertainment concept". With American international cuisine, the restaurants have memorabilia from different movies hanging from the ceiling, iconic posters of movies and costumes of famous actors and actresses. "We own a major part of the memorabilia (which is why we have a warehouse in the US), some of it is loaned," said Garland.

With its celebrity backing and unique concept, they met with huge success and expanded internationally. From a 1,000-seater restaurant in Orlando to the ones in Las Vegas, Paris (in association with Disney a 600 seater eatery), London, they have created an iconic brand. "The brand is well known world over and everyone immediately recognizes the globe logo," said Garland.

Hollywood Meets Bollywood

Having built a brand that is recognised by everyone instantly, expanding became a cake walk for them. In India, they are looking for Franchise partners and believe that because the brand is known, there is "no need to explain the story".

India's craze for movies adds to their list of reasons of why they are expanding here, and it will also appeal to a wider audience. "There is a great synergy and compatibility between Bollywood and Hollywood. We are talking about two biggest film watching demographics in the world, so the market opportunities are huge. Obviously, we would want our partner here to get a Bollywood tie-up and have memorabilia from Indian films too," said Garland adding that it would be a marriage made in heaven.

Creating a win-win situation for both Indians and tourists, who would be attracted to both the movie sectors is their idea. However, there will be tweaks to make it adaptable and likeable to the Indian market – be it on their menu or design.

But movies are not where it ends. In India, they are also looking at partnerships with cricketers or musicians.

The Indian Tadka

With every different country they expand into, there's an influence of the country's culture in their operations. Be it fish and chips for London or Creme Brule for France or their signature Buffalo Wings for the American audience, the cultural influence is evident. "For this market too, there will be an addition of the Indian taste and cuisine (about 25 per cent) to make the menu work," he said.

Garland is excited about their entry to India as he believes it's a natural fit in a big market. While he realises that in reality not all of the Indian population can afford to go to restaurants, they will be focusing on Tier I cities mainly, starting off with Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru etc. "It will be one restaurant in each city that becomes a standalone destination for that city. India has a burgeoning middle class that's developing rapidly and people like to go out here, so that makes it a great market for us," said Garland.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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