Premier Inn owner Whitbread to cut 1,500 jobs

Hotel and restaurant group Whitbread is planning to close some restaurants and expand its hotel business as part of a reorganisation announced on Tuesday.

The company — whose brands include Premier Inn, Beefeater and Brewers Fayre — said that the changes would add more than 3,500 hotel rooms across its estate and increase operational efficiencies.

It plans to sell 126 of its less profitable restaurants, with 21 sales already agreed for a total of £28m.

Another 112 branded restaurants will be closed and converted into new hotel rooms after creating an integrated restaurant within the neighbouring hotel.

These changes are expected to result in a reduction of around 1,500 roles out of the company’s total UK workforce of 37,000.

Whitbread said it would seek alternative job opportunities for affected staff “wherever possible” through new jobs created by its plans and through existing recruitment.

For the 52 weeks to 29 February Whitbread recorded a 13% increase in revenue to £2.96bn, with pre-tax profit for the year up 21% to £452m.