Table Table bosses give update on future of Herne Bay restaurant

Whitbread PLC is aiming to create 3,500 new Premier Inn hotel room as part of its  ‘accelerated growth plan’
Whitbread PLC is aiming to create 3,500 new Premier Inn hotel room as part of its ‘accelerated growth plan’ -Credit:Google Maps

Bosses have now provided an update on the future of a coastal Table Table restaurant as rumours of its closure have begun to circulate. The Table Table branch in Herne Bay, which neighbours a Premier Inn Hotel, could see its doors closed and the site transformed into more hotel rooms.

This comes as Whitbread PLC, which owns both Premier Inn and Table Table, has announced a number of key changes it will be making as part of its ‘accelerated growth plan’. Under these plans, a total of 3,500 new hotel rooms are to be created across the Premier Inn sites, alongside some revisions of the brand’s food and beverage offering.

Currently, Premier Inn guests are either served by an integrated restaurant found within the hotel itself, or via a neighbouring branded restaurant that is either owned by the Whitbread or run by a third party. The branded restaurants are typically found next to the hotel and are open to non-hotel guests, as is the case for Table Table in Herne Bay.

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Whitbread has stated: “Whilst our UK hotel performance has gone from strength-to-strength, the performance of some of our branded restaurants has been impacted by a reduction in footfall from non-hotel guests with the result that they have struggled to meet their targeted levels of return.” The brand has now confirmed that over the next 24 months, it plans to replace around 112 of these “lower-returning” branded restaurants with integrated restaurants built inside the neighbouring hotels.

These vacated spaces would then be converted into hotel rooms. Whitbread also plans to exit 126 branded restaurants over the coming 24 months, but these will continue to operate as they do now so that they can be sold as going concerns.

Meanwhile, the 387 integrated restaurants 196 “better performing” branded restaurants will continue to trade as normal. In all, 1,500 job roles are to be removed as part of these plans.

Bosses have confirmed that this move could impact the Table Table branch in Herne Bay, however the plans are subject to consultation. Table Table currently continues to trade as normal in Herne Bay while the fate of the restaurant is decided.

Whitbread added that it will work to find alternative roles within the business for those affected team members. Construction of the new integrated restaurants is scheduled to “commence shortly” and the first of the new room extensions are expected to be available to guests by the end of the financial year.

Dominic Paul, Chief Executive Officer, said: “I recognise that these changes will be unsettling for affected team members and we are committed to working hard to enable as many as possible of those affected to stay with Whitbread by either transferring into roles this plan will create, or by taking up other vacancies across the business more broadly through our existing recruitment activity that makes c.15,000 hires each year. Our teams are at the heart of our guest experience, and I want to thank each and every team member for their continued hard work and dedication to deliver the great quality, service and value that our guests expect from us.”

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