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Open To… Journey Seekers


Meet Kristen Lawrence

Our Senior Procurement Manager - Meal Solutions


I’m now in my second decade of working at Whitbread, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.


The business has changed so much during that time, so 21 years here has felt like lots of stints at very different businesses. It’s kept things exciting that’s for sure. There’s been no opportunity to get itchy feet and consider moving on.


That’s the beauty of things here, with new acquisitions, launches and changes, I’ve been able to get stuck into the next challenge every single time.


Seeing so many transformations take place in the business, like the growth of Costa, ahead of selling the business to Coca Cola. This ability to take on ambitious challenges and see them through, is a really appealing and motivating presence at Whitbread. That energy and drive to keep making big leaps as a business is something that you see in everyone, and it’s the thing that really drew me in at the beginning.


Since I started work, my life has changed, unsurprisingly. I’ve grown a family, and that meant I needed to adjust my priorities. Whitbread were supportive when I decided to drop days from my contract, giving me more time to focus on being there for my children. I felt comfortable having that conversation, then dialling down my responsibilities, before dialling back up when my situation changed.


Open communication made getting the right work-life balance for me possible, and let me see what my future could look like (without having to compromise on my career).


Getting to talk about food and drink every day never gets boring. There’s real variety, and I’m always visiting suppliers or on-site at the restaurants, working with teams to get the right products on board. If it did tire of food and want to try my hand at another area, I know there’d be potential to move into a different buying role, from commercial marketing to our trusty Premier Inn pillows, there’s more within my reach.  


For me, what I do is about the people and the moments we all share. Knowing that I’m the reason that some of my colleagues chose Whitbread and stayed here. That’s what it’s about for me, the impact that you can have on the people that you work alongside every day, and the things you can achieve together.


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





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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.