This article is about the company. For other uses, see Whitbread (disambiguation).
Whitbread PLC
Public limited company
Traded as LSE: WTB
Industry Leisure
Founded 1742 (1742)
London, England
Founder Samuel Whitbread and Thomas Shewell
Headquarters Houghton Regis, United Kingdom
Area served
China, Dubai, Europe, India, Republic of Ireland, Russia, United Kingdom
Key people
Richard Baker (Chairman)
Alison Brittain (CEO)
Revenue £2,921.8 million (2016)[1]
£528.1 million (2016)[1]
£387.3 million (2016)[1]
Number of employees
50,000 (2016)[1]
Divisions Beefeater
Brewers Fayre
Costa Coffee
Premier Inn
Table Table
Website www.whitbread.co.uk

Whitbread PLC is a multinational hotel, coffee shop and restaurant company headquartered in Houghton Regis, United Kingdom. The company has its origins in brewing.

Its largest division is Premier Inn, which is the largest hotel brand in the UK with around 650 hotels and over 50,000 rooms. Its Costa Coffee chain has 3,080 shops across 30 countries as of May 2014 and is the world's second-largest international coffee shop chain.[2] Its other brands include the restaurant chains Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Table Table.[3]

Whitbread is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


The Chiswell Street brewery in 1792.

In 1742 Samuel Whitbread formed a partnership with Godfrey and Thomas Shewell and they acquired a small brewery at the junction of Old Street and Upper Whitecross Street and another brewhouse for pale and amber beers in Brick Lane, Spitalfields.[4] Godfrey Shewell withdrew from the partnership as Thomas Shewell and Samuel Whitbread bought the large site of the derelict King's Head brewery in Chiswell Street in 1750.[4] The new brewery was for the production of porter, and was renamed the Hind Brewery after the Whitbread family coat of arms.[4] From the outset, Whitbread was the leading financial partner, and solely responsible for management, and in 1761, Whitbread acquired Shewell's share of the business for £30,000.[4] It was the largest brewery in the world by the 1780s.[5] In 1796 the company produced 202,000 barrels of porter.[4]

The firm struggled after the death of Samuel Whitbread Sr, and saw ownership transfer to his son, also called Samuel Whitbread.[5]

The company adopted the name Whitbread & Co Ltd in 1799.[6]

The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1948.[5] Between 1961 and 1971, Whitbread's output increased from 2.1 to 7.4 million hectolitres and it became Britain's third-largest brewer by output.[7]

In 1972, Whitbread became the initiating sponsor of the Whitbread Round the World Race (now called the Volvo Ocean Race), a sailing yacht race around the world held every three years. Whitbread sponsored the race until 2001.

Whitbread acquired a 20% stake in TVS for £6.5M from European ferries in April 1984.[8]

Whitbread Group Plc decided in 2001 to sell all its breweries and brewing interests (Whitbread Beer Company) to Interbrew, now known as InBev.[6] Whitbread-branded alcoholic beverages are still available in the UK, such as canned Whitbread bitter, but these are not produced by InBev, merely produced under licence by other producers. InBev controls the use of the Whitbread brand, and the hind's head logo, for use on beverages. In 2002 Whitbread sold its pub estate, known as the Laurel Pub Company, to Enterprise Inns.[9]

The Whitbread & Co brewery building at 52 Chiswell Street in London still survives, although beer ceased to be brewed there in 1976[5] and it is now a conference and events venue. Still named "The Brewery", it is now part of the Earls Court and Olympia Group, as the site itself was sold to an investment firm in 2005.[10]

In 2005, it moved its core operations from CityPoint in central London, to Oakley House in Luton,[11] and then, in 2006, to larger offices at Whitbread Court in Dunstable (previously used by the now defunct Whitbread Restaurants Company) in a bid to reduce costs.

In 2006, it went on to sell 239 of its 271 Beefeater sites to Mitchells & Butlers.[12] In January 2010, Whitbread introduced a new corporate logo, and replaced the tagline "welcome with a smile" with "Eat, Sleep and Drink".[13]

In 2013, as part of the 2013 meat adulteration scandal DNA tests revealed that horsemeat was present in some meat products sold in outlets owned by Whitbread.[14]

Ready packed meal firm Findus, Compass Group was the world's biggest catering firm at the time, and Whitbread, which was at the time Britain's biggest hotel group was indicted for illegally selling concealed horse meat in food products.[15]

In a public letter later that day, 11 firms, including Tesco and Asda, said they shared shoppers' "anger and outrage".[16] Whitbread vowed to remedy the unacceptable situation on 26 February 2013.[17] The Food Standards Agency's (FSA) chief executive, Catherine Brown also said "it is unlikely we will ever know" how many unwittingly ate horsemeat.[18]

Current operations

Whitbread's principal current operations are:

Premier Inn

A Premier Inn in Basingstoke
A branch of Costa in Sutton, Greater London
Brewer's Fayre, Royal Quay, North Shields
Main article: Premier Inn

Premier Inn is the UK's largest budget hotel chain, with over 700 hotels.[19]

Costa Coffee

Main article: Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee was founded in London in 1971 by the brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa as a wholesale operation supplying roasted coffee to caterers and specialist Italian coffee shops. Acquired by Whitbread in 1995, it has since grown to over 2,861 stores across 30 countries.[20] By the end of 2010, the company had overtaken Starbucks in the UK, reaching a 37.6% market share measured by revenues.[21] The business has 1,755 UK restaurants, over 5,000 Costa Express vending facilities and a further 1,106 outlets overseas.[2]

Table Table

Main article: Table Table

Table Table is a UK restaurant brand. They started as converted Brewers Fayre restaurants. The brand was originally set up in 2006 unnamed and The name Table Table was launched in May 2008. There are around 105 sites in the UK.[22]


Main article: Beefeater Grill

Beefeater was launched in 1974. The chain underwent a huge revamp in the early 2000s. It then proceeded to change its name to "Beefeater Grill" for a period but in 2015 reverted to just "Beefeater". Beefeater has 140 houses across the UK.[23]

Brewers Fayre

Main article: Brewers Fayre

Brewers Fayre is a pub-restaurant brand which was created in 1979. The pubs are designed to look and feel like traditional local pubs but with a particularly strong family presence. There are around 145 pubs across the country.[24]

Whitbread Inns

The Whitbread Inns brand of restaurants was created by Whitbread in 2014. In January 2016 there were 13 pubs (all of which were Table Table) across central and southern England including The Treacle Mine in Polegate and The Roundstone in Littlehampton.[25]

Former operations

Whitbread's former operations include:

Main article: Taybarns

Taybarns was an all-you-can-eat American buffet-style restaurant. There were six sites in England and one (the very first site at Swansea) in Wales.[26]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Whitbread PLC. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  3. "Our Brands". Whitbread PLC. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Whitbread, Samuel". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Jack S. Blocker; David M. Fahey; Ian R. Tyrrell (2003). Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History: An International Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 656–657. ISBN 978-1-57607-833-4.
  6. 1 2 "History of Whitbread". Whitbread.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  7. "Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History". google.com. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  8. Whitbread buys £6m TVS stake. By Derek Harris Commercial Editor. The Times, Thursday, Apr 12, 1984; pg. 18
  9. Enterprise Inns buys 1,860 pubs to become UK's top landlord
  10. Whitbread sells historic brewery Archived 12 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. "Whitbread - market intelligence". Ukbusinesspark.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  12. "Business | Beefeater sites bought by M&B". BBC News. 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  13. "Whitbread Case Study" (PDF).
  14. "BBC News - Horsemeat scandal: Supermarkets 'share anger and outrage'". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  15. Reuters (15 February 2013). "Compass and Whitbread caught up in horse meat scandal". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  16. "BBC News - Horsemeat scandal: Supermarkets 'share anger and outrage'". BBC News. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  17. "Whitbread makes food pledge after horsemeat scandal". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  18. "BBC News - Horsemeat: Compass and Whitbread find horse DNA in products". BBC News. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  19. "Premier Inn opens 600th UK hotel". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  20. "Catering & Hospitality News". Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  21. Caterer and Hotelkeeper 14 January 2011
  22. "Table Table". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  23. "Beefeater". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  24. "Brewers Fayre". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  25. "Whitbread Inns". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  26. "Taybarns". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  27. "Britvic IPO to value drinks group at up to £537m". FT.com. 25 November 2005. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  28. "When Alan Parker moved Whitbread from beer to hotels no-one got it, they do now". The Telegraph. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  29. Bill, Tom (2007-01-17). "Whitbread sells TGI Friday's to joint venture - Caterer and Hotelkeeper". Caterersearch.com. Retrieved 2014-04-11.
  30. "Pizza Hut restaurants sold to investment group". The Guardian. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  31. "Sale of David Lloyd Leisure". Whitbread plc. 4 June 2007. URL accessed 4 June 2007. Archived 29 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  32. "Luminar eyes Hogshead pubs deal". The Telegraph. 15 April 2001. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  33. "Former owners Punch Taverns and Whitbread face Threshers liability". The Telegraph. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  34. "Milestones". Maredo. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/19/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.