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Family favourite pub chain at risk of closing down with over...
BRITS could be saying goodbye to Beefeater and Brewers Fayre restaurants across the country as Whitbread bosses consider flogging the chains.
Over 300 branches are reportedly “on the chopping block” as company chiefs ponder selling off parts of its £700m pub grub empire.AlamyWhitbread are reportedly weighing up selling off its oldest brand, Beefeater[/caption] Ray Collins - The SunOver 160 Brewers Fayre branches also face the chopping block[/caption]
The hospitality giant is understood to be weighing up its options as poor food and drink sales are impacting the wider business.
According to the Telegraph, industry experts and advisers have been brought in to explore options for the division.
Market maestros are said to be putting the feelers out among potentially interested parties, who have reportedly been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements ahead of a formal sales process.
It means the UK’s 140 Beefeater restaurants and 160 Brewers Fayre eateries favoured by families for there cheap meals could close.
But sources claim discussions surrounding the demise of the pub chains are still at a preliminary stage and may not result in them being put on the market.
The publication reported that only a “small part” of Whitbread‘s food and drink operations were at risk.
Bosses at the firm, which also owns the hotel chain Premier Inn, warned sales at the restaurants were slumping in a recently published annual report.
It noted that there was an “increasing divergence of performance of the hotel business and the food and beverage business.”
Whitbread said this could negatively impact the premium Premier Inn charge for their rooms in comparison to its rivals.
Many of the company’s pubs and restaurants operate under a “co-lo” arrangement with Premier Inn branches.
The establishments are either situated inside or next to hotels and often serve breakfast and food on behalf of its sister company.
Whitbread’s accommodation group sales soar by 27 per cent in the year to March, a healthy jump from the previous 12 months.
But food and beverage sales only grew by a measly 4 per cent in contrast.
“The expected bounce back following the removal of trading restrictions last year has not materialised fully,” Whitbread’s report added.
Although the company doesn’t break down the financial performance of its individual restaurants, food and beverage sales across the UK and Ireland annually amount to £712.7m.
The news the industry titans are debating offloading their oldest brand, Beefeater, has stunned competitors.
Bankers are understood to have championed the chain’s freehold properties against which bank financing could be secured.
The sales process is at an early stage and Whitbread’s advisers have not guided parties on the valuation of the business, sources said.
It would mark Whitbread’s first major move since it struck a deal with Coca-Cola in 2018 to sell Costa Coffee for £3.9billion.GettyThe budget restaurants are loved by Brit families[/caption]
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