Returning User Login

Shanna, Hotel Manager, Premier Inn


Getting back into the working world after a while, or embarking on something new later in life can be daunting. Fear, self doubt and questioning whether it’s even possible is holding people back from starting a new chapter in their life. At Whitbread, we want to turn around the negatives and help you change your story – both the stories you tell yourself about lack of confidence, ability  or employability, and your future ambitions too. You’re at the best place to #ChangeYourStory, with the UK’s leading hospitality business.


“When people ask about the balance between career and motherhood, I think if you ask any working mum and they’ll say when you have your children you just want more. Whether that’s more for them, or more for you to provide for them – you almost have to become super organised, understand your priorities and make things work for your family.

“That’s certainly been the case for me, as a mum and a Hotel Manager at Premier Inn. I began with the company in 2006 as a part time Receptionist, just looking to earn some money. I’d studied Hairdressing at college and wasn’t particularly looking for a career in hospitality.

“But I found out that I had a natural enthusiasm for the role and felt encouraged by my manager. I took on more hours and I followed my manager when the chance to open a new Premier Inn in the city centre came up. Moving from one site for another came with risks – we were a new team, it meant leaving one I loved, but it was a prime location and a great opportunity.

"I didn’t look back, taking on new roles within the business and gradually worked my way up to become a Hotel Manager. I had my baby, Harper, in 2016 and returned to work after maternity leave but I had concerns. I’d been breastfeeding Harper since birth and wanted this to continue for her for as long as possible. It’s honestly something you don’t even think about until you’re in that position – ‘what if I can’t breastfeed once I go back to work?’.

“I needn’t have worried. Communication is never an issue at Whitbread and my manager was amazing, the team were brilliant and we made it work. I wasn’t made to feel like I was getting special treatment and would express, using the fridge in the office to store it. In total, Harper had 22 months of breastfeeding and I’m so glad I gave her that.

“Flexibility is really important when you’ve got commitments outside of work. For a spell, I had to be home to feed Harper by 7pm every night and again, no fuss was made, just the team making it happen for me and management supporting.

“I’ve always loved that feeling of 'team' here. We’re there for each other and Whitbread’s an organisation I trust in these changing times. When you see High Street brands struggling, there’s something so reassuring knowing that when you go home, the hotel will be here the next morning. We’ve been around in one shape or form for hundreds of years and that means a lot – to me and my team.

"Especially in the last 18 months, which have been so testing. Hospitality has felt the effects of this pandemic as much as any industry and it’s been tough. But I’ve been lucky during all this. I always felt supported – be it during lockdown, or the massive task of re-opening at various times with ever changing rules. It was hard, but I had the right people to go to and together with my team we got through it.

"There’s always been a strong message that we’re going to get through this and while it’s been stop/start, my personal development has continued. I joined the steering committee of the Race, Religion and Cultural Heritage network. It’s a big thing, senior leaders within the business are on it and it’s a chance to be a voice for team members who are from my background. It’s important to represent and show what can be achieved here.

"I also head up the Diversity and Inclusion agenda in my area too. It’s a subject close to my heart and it’s important to me that we’re living and breathing this, that it’s not just lip service. I feel like I’m making a difference.

“I’ve enjoyed my time with the business and consider myself proof that if you put your mind to it and show willing you’ll get it paid back by Whitbread two fold. I’ve had the confidence to push on further in my career, looking to stretch myself – bigger hotels, more responsibility – and I’ve been backed, reassured and helped every step of the way.

“I wanted to prove myself as a multi-site manager and it really drummed home to me how far I’ve come when I'd go to schools or careers fairs to speak about my journey. The kids’ eyes would light up when they'd hear me say I run three hotels at my age! It goes to show, it can be done.

“My next move will be within Whitbread, I've no doubt. I think the opportunities here are endless."

#ChangeYourStory with shifts to suit everyone at the UK’s leading hospitality business here…





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

Find out more

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

Find out more

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

Find out more

Cookhouse & Pub, a great place to get together.

Find out more

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

Find out more

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

Find out more

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

Find out more

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

Find out more

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

About Us
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.