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Open To… True Selves


Meet Katie Birchall

Our HR Business Partner 


It all started for me in 2016 with the HR Graduate Programme. I’ve always had an interest in hospitality, and had been working in different roles since I was 16. When it came to finishing University I knew this was the route I wanted to take.


I looked into leading hospitality brands, and Whitbread stood out by far. It was like a shining light that I just couldn’t resist.


The graduate programme was my window into the world of Whitbread, and saw me experience 4 x 6-month placements. They gave me a real insight into the business, covering L&D, Employee Relations and Costa Coffee (which we owned at the time).


Employee Relations really spoke to me, and this is the area that I moved into when my programme ended. As the ER Help Desk Team Leader I learnt a lot about managing a team and how the business all fits together to deliver results. I’d worked really hard up to this point, so I was really proud that I’d managed to make it happen.


Old me found change daunting, but I’ve really built up my confidence over the last few years and it’s had a huge impact on my work. After 2.5 years an opportunity came up to stretch myself two grades higher and go on secondment as a HR Business Partner.


It was at this point I knew I had to move past any feelings of doubt and trust myself and my ability to pick up the role.


One thing that’s really stood out to me about my Whitbread experience is being a member of GLOW, our LGBT network. I’ve been able to open up about my identity much more than ever before, and I’ve never considered holding myself back.


Being my authentic self is just a given to me now, and it’s really helped me grow in confidence and in my career.


We are Whitbread and we are #OpenToYou. Join us here. 





We're shaking up the steak world and offering you a fresh + exciting approach to dining out.

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Our first brand and still one of the UK's best loved restaurants.

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Our aim is - 'To serve the nation's favourite pub food, at great value prices, in a family friendly environment.'

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Cookhouse & Pub, a great place to get together.

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hub by Premier Inn is a smart new concept in urban hotels.

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Is it our beds, our food, our great value or our people that people love so much?

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Table Table is the perfect place to get together with family and friends.

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We serve up delicious dishes full of seasonal flavour and a variety of drinks including local cask ales.

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We get to serve an amazing 25 million customers each month in the UK.

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A new kind of hotel for Premier Inn

A new kind of hotel for Premier Inn

The first ZIP will be opening in Cardiff March 2019, with more coming soon. Keep your eyes peeled for a ZIP near you.