The Caterer
Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Whitbread keeps employees on full pay until government support kicks in

24 March 2020 by

Whitbread has said all its employees remain on full pay before "a significant number" are placed on temporary furlough, during which time the government's recently announced support package should cover up to 80% of their salaries.

In a trading update the group (which operates Premier Inn hotels as well as brands including Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Bar + Block and employs more than 35,000 people), said that although its financial performance for the year ended 27 February is expected to be in line with expectations, subsequent trading has been "materially adversely impacted" by Covid-19.

Following Government announcements, all Whitbread's pubs and restaurants were temporarily closed from 20 March and, in light of guidance from the Prime Minister yesterday, the group is starting the process of temporarily closing its Premier Inn hotels.

It is in discussions with the Government regarding the use of some hotels near hospitals to support front-line key workers.

The group said: "Whitbread entered the year with a strong balance sheet and access to significant liquidity. There is material headroom on our funding facilities, and we will be paying all our rent payments this quarter. In addition, the business is backed by a valuable freehold property estate. However, given the unprecedented situation, we have taken a number of decisive actions to reduce cash outflows during this period."

These include: reducing repairs and maintenance expenditure to a minimum; cancelling all non-committed development expenditure; and eliminating all discretionary spend, including room refurbishment plans, marketing, non-essential training and recruitment, and the postponement of the previously announced £25m investment.

Whitbread also said it welcomed the recently announced Government support measures for the hospitality industry, in particular, the 12-month business rates relief, which is expected to save the business approximately £120m, and the contribution to salary costs of furloughed employees.

Lockdown: closure extended to hotels; takeaway and delivery remain open >>

Tears and cautious celebrations as government pledges to cover 80% of wages through enforced closure >>

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking