Whitbread considering sale of restaurant brands

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Whitbread considering sale of restaurant brands Beefeater Brewers Fayre and Bar + Block

Related tags Whitbread Brewers fayre Premier inn Beefeater Bar + Block Casual dining R200 Multi-site

Whitbread is understood to be exploring the potential sale of part of its £700m pub and restaurant arm in order to focus its efforts on its Premier Inn hotel chain.

According to The Telegraph​, the group has hired advisers to explore options for the division, which houses the Beefeater, Bar + Block and Brewers Fayre chains. 

Sources have said that discussions are at a preliminary stage and may not result in the business being sold, and they insisted that only a 'small part' of Whitbread’s pub and restaurant business was being considered for possible disposal.

Whitbread’s advisers are understood to have begun contacting potentially interested parties, asking them to sign non-disclosure agreements ahead of a formal sales process.

It follows a warning in Whitbread’s recently published annual report of 'the increasing divergence of performance of the hotel business and the food and beverage business', which the group warned could have a detrimental effect on the price charged for Premier Inn rooms.

Whitbread reported last month that its F&B sales were 40% ahead of FY22 for the 52 weeks to 2 March 2023, however, they remained 4% behind pre-pandemic levels.

Increased spend per head was outweighed by a decline in customer volumes at its branded restaurants, despite their focus on the value-end of the market, however trading in the seven weeks to 20 April 2023 had seen an improvement in F&B – which were up 10% on FY23.

Whitbread declined to comment on The Telegraph ​story. 

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