Margate’s Promenade Brewers Fayre could be affected by Whitbread’s room expansion plans

Promenade Brewers Fayre and adjoining Premier inn

Margate’s Promenade Brewers Fayre and Premier Inn could undergo changes as part of owner Whitbread’s ‘Accelerating Growth Plan.’

The hotel and restaurant company announced a plan in its full year results this week to add 3,500 hotel rooms to its operation – including the conversion of 112 restaurant sites  – and to sell 126 lower performing branded restaurants with 21 of those already agreed for sale for £28m.

Restaurants that are converted to hotel space will have food and drink delivered through an ‘integrated restaurant.’

The end of year report says: “Over the next 24 months we plan to add 3,500 new rooms to our pipeline through a new extensions programme. This includes converting 112 branded restaurants into new hotel rooms having first transferred the delivery of F&B (food and beverages) for our hotel guests at these sites to a more tailored, integrated restaurant, that will be built inside the neighbouring hotel, mirroring the popular format already available at 387 of our hotels.

“We are planning to exit 126 branded restaurants over the next 24 months; they will continue to operate as they do now so that they can be sold as going concerns.

“We have already agreed to sell 21 of these restaurants for £28m. In FY24, these 126 restaurants in aggregate generated revenue of £147m and a PBT loss of £9m.

“The proceeds from these disposals will be used to help fund our investment in building a more tailored, integrated restaurant in our hotels as well as the construction of new hotel rooms across the estate.”

The plans will mean the loss of 1,500 jobs out of a total UK workforce of 37,000.

The report says: “While these plans are still subject to consultation, we will seek to find alternative opportunities wherever possible through the roles created by this plan and our existing recruitment process that makes c.15,000 hires each year.”

It is understood  the Brewers Fayre at Margate is being considered for extended hotel rooms with a ‘Thyme’ branded restaurant planned for hotel guests. A number of roles are understood to be in consultation.

Dominic Paul, Whitbread Chief Executive, said: “In addition to our strong commercial programme, we plan to optimise our F&B offer at a number of our sites to unlock up to 3,500 room extensions that will enhance the service for our hotel guests and deliver increased operational efficiencies.

“We recognise that our transition will impact some of our team members so we will be providing support throughout this process and we are committed to working hard to enable as many as possible of those affected to remain with us.”

Whitbread has been asked for further comment on its plans for the Margate site in Station Road.

2 Comments

  1. It is certainly good news that there is a need for increased hotel rooms in Margate.

    It is a shame that catering will only be available for inmates – oops I mean guests – rather than a restaurant/bar for locals and visitors.

    • The announcement in the budget of changes to the tax regime around furnished holiday lets ( and no doubt behind doors discussions with parties involved) will have helped form the move towards provision of more hotel rooms, being so close to the station its pretty much the perfect location.
      With the proliferation of small food outlests and the food delivery services , it’ll also help support those small businesses, bit of a win all round.

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