Trend-bucking growth. An increasingly global profile. The huge popularity of our brands. Make no mistake, business is thriving at Whitbread, and with further expansion planned for all our brands, the future promises to be even more exciting. As we continue to develop and grow, this is your chance to be part of our story.
We may have grown to become the UK’s largest hotel and restaurant group, but we’ve never forgotten where it all started. Samuel Whitbread’s founding spirit was to put our people first, focus on the customer and recognise that progress comes from innovative thinking. These are the values we continue to live by today.
We’re the UK’s biggest hospitality company, employing around 50,000 people and serving around 27 million UK customers every month across our 3,000+ hotels, coffee shops and restaurants.
The past five years have seen huge growth in our business. We’ve added over 130 hotels, nearly 100 restaurants and more than 1,500 coffee shops – creating an outstanding 15,000 UK jobs in the process.
By 2020, our goal is to achieve global system sales of around £2.5bn for Costa, and to increase the number of Premier Inn UK rooms to an incredible 85,000. All while creating around 3,000 UK jobs a year and continuing to expand our presence worldwide.
“We are committed to creating a great place to work for our 50,000 team members who keep our business thriving, offering amazing opportunities for development, helping them realise their potential and build their career with us.”
Alison Brittain, CEO Whitbread
Whitbread is one of the UK’s oldest companies, with a history going all the way back to 1742. For the first 250 years, it was our breweries and pubs we were famous for, but in 2001 we refocused on hotels and restaurants and became the leading hospitality business we are today. Explore the timeline to find out more.
Samuel Whitbread starts brewing beer
UK’s first purpose-built mass-production brewery created at Chiswell Street
Beer bottling introduced, making Whitbread a national brand
First Beefeater opens
First Travel Inn opens
Acquisition of Costa Coffee
Whitbread leaves the pub and bar business
Acquisition of Cannons Health & Fitness BV (Netherlands)
Acquisition of Premier Lodge hotels
Sale of 50% shareholding in Pizza Hut UK Ltd
Sale of David Lloyd Leisure and TGI Friday’s
First international Premier Inn hotel
Launch Good Together CSR programme
Alan Parker retires as CEO and is succeeded by Andy Harrison
Acquisition of Coffee Nation and launch of Costa Express brand
100th Costa store in China and 50.000 rooms in Premier Inn UK
Costa launches Old Paradise Street no.3 – the first new coffee blend in more than four decades
Premier Inn launches ‘hub by Premier Inn’
Premier Inn opens their 700th hotel
In early 2016, Andy Harrison retired and was succeeded by Alison Brittain
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We’ve picked up our fair share of awards over the years. Recent highlights include being ranked in The Sunday Times Best Big Companies to Work For 2015, and being recognised as the UK’s third top employer by the Top Employers Institute. Premier Inn won Best UK Hotel Chain and Favourite UK Hotel Chain at the 2015 Globe Travel Awards while Costa has been voted the Nation’s Favourite Coffee Shop* five years running. We also won Best Pub Employer at the Publican Awards 2015.
*Independent survey of 5.000 people published in December 2014 by Allegra Strategies.
Our CSR programme, Force for Good, is a fundamental part of how we do business at Whitbread. For us, being a successful company is not just about making profits – it’s about us being a force for good in all the communities where we operate. The programme is made up of three different kinds of activity: our teams and communities, customer wellbeing and reducing our impact on the environment.
We are proud to partner with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSHCC), which is our nominated charity. We’ve pledged to raise £7.5 million, which will go towards the construction of a major new development at the Great Ormond Street Hospital. So far, our dedicated teams have raised over £4m for the charity to date.