The history of Whitbread
Established in 1742, Whitbread is one of the UK’s oldest and well-respected companies.
The story really begins in August 1720 with the birth of Samuel Whitbread, who began his brewing apprenticeship in 1736, then founded his first brewery six years later.
In 1750 Samuel Whitbread created the first purpose-built mass-production brewery in the UK, when he moved his brewing operations to Chiswell Street on the eastern rim of Georgian London. Over the following years, Whitbread became a household name throughout the country.
Whitbread reinventing for the 21st century
In 2001 we became the company we are today. We sold our breweries and left the pub and bar business, refocusing on the growth areas of hotels and restaurants. Our reinvention as the UK's leading hospitality business naturally coincided with the ending of this country’s brewing and pub-owning tradition, started by Samuel Whitbread over 250 years earlier.
UK’s no.1 brands
Now UK’s biggest hospitality company, we’ve got the UK’s no. 1 hotel brand, Premier Inn and the no.1 coffee shop brand, Costa. We’re also very proud of our much-loved restaurants, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater Grill and Table Table.
True to our founding spirit
Although our core businesses have changed over the years, we remain true to Samuel Whitbread’s founding spirit to put our people first and customers at the heart of everything we do, all the while looking at ways to innovate to stay ahead.
|2016||Whitbread acquires 49% stake in London based company, Healthy Retail Ltd, trading as ‘Pure’.|
|2015||Andy Harrison retires as CEO and is replaced by Alison Brittain|
|2014||Premier Inn launches 'hub by Premier Inn'|
|2014||Costa launches Old Paradise Street no.3 - the first new coffee blend for more than four decades|
|2012||100th Costa store in China and 50,000 rooms in Premier Inn UK|
|2011||Acquisition of Coffee Nation and launch of Costa Express brand|
|2010||Alan Parker retires as CEO and is replaced by Andy Harrison|
|2009||Launch Good Together CSR programme|
|2008||First international Premier Inn hotel|
|2007||Sale of David Lloyd Leisure|
|2007||Sale of TGI Fridays|
|2006||Sale of 50% shareholding in Pizza Hut UK Ltd|
|2006||Sale of 239 pub restaurants to M&B|
|2005||Sale of Marriott business|
|2004||Acquisition of Premier Lodge hotels|
|2003||Acquisition of Cannons Health & Fitness BV (Netherlands)|
|2002||Sale of Pelican and BrightReasons|
|2001||Sale of Pub and Bars|
|2000||Sale of Beer Company & Acquisition of Swallow Group PLC|
|1995||Acquisition of Costa Coffee|
|1974||Open first Beefeater|
|1987||Open first Travel Inn|
|1868||Introduces bottling of beer to become national brand|
|1750||Samuel Whitbread moves to Chiswell Street|
|1742||Samuel Whitbread starts brewing beer|