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Harry Rose '65

Harry Rose ’65, who owns one of the top 200 restaurant franchises in the U.S., is committed to serving customers, the community and his alma mater.
Serving others well has been the key to success for Harold T. Rose ’65.

After graduating from Scranton with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Rose began a career as a management trainee at the Marriott Corp. Twenty years later he left Marriott as a senior executive and began his own restaurant management business.

“Hard work always pays off,” says Rose. “I was raised in Minersville, an area where people work hard. I had the motivation to want to succeed and the energy to do what it takes to do so.”

In 1985 with the acquisition of five Roy Rogers restaurants, he founded H.T. Rose Enterprises, Inc. Today, he is chairman and CEO of The Rose Group, which currently owns and operates 59 Applebee’s restaurants in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as four Corner Bakery Cafes and two Shannon Rose Irish Pubs.

In addition to the current holdings of his company, Rose has led the acquisition, development and sale of numerous other franchises, including a dozen Boston Market restaurants, more than 80 Roy Rogers, 20-plus Einstein Bros Bagels, and a handful of Johnny Carino’s Country Italian restaurants.

In 1987, his company ranked 138th in Restaurant Finance Monitors top 200 restaurant franchisees in the U.S. In 2009, The Rose Group ranked 39.

Throughout, Rose has placed service to customers above all else.

 “Every night we review surveys completed by our customers. This enables us to determine what we are doing well, what we are improving, and what needs to be improved,” he says.

The company’s mission states to “passionately do the right thing for the guest, the team and the neighborhood.”

“From pancake breakfasts for fire departments to educational tours of the restaurant for neighborhood children, we are part of the community we operate in and want to help,” says Rose.

The Rose Group is proud of the support it provides to neighborhood groups and organizations like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which supports research focused on finding a cure for cancers that afflict young people.

Rose has received numerous awards during his career, including Applebee’s Services, Inc.’s Franchisee of the Year in 1997 and 2004, and The Mercer County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1998. One of the most meaningful awards Rose received was the 2000 Frank J. O’Hara Award for Management bestowed jointly by The University of Scranton and its Alumni Society. In 2008, the University dedicated a room on the fifth floor of Brennan Hall in his name to recognize his generous leadership and philanthropy.

Rose, who resides in New Hope with his wife, Carol, and his two sons, Jason and Stephen, serves on the University’s Pride Passion and Promise Executive Committee. He has served as a Trustee of The University of Scranton for the past six years, an experience he has found to be very rewarding.

“I have seen the University expand in so many ways – in its student body, its facilities - but remain true to its core mission of serving its students,” says Rose. 

In remembering his Scranton days, Rose does see a similarity with today’s students.

“When I was a student, I remember enjoying the new Gunster Student Center the way that today’s students are enjoying the new DeNaples Center,” says Rose.

“When I graduated from Scranton, I believed that there was not a problem I could not solve. If someone puts a big wall in front of you, that doesn’t mean you have to stop. You go over or around the wall. I learned that at Scranton,” says Rose, who believes that with the completion of the unified science center, Scranton will only get better.

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