Public’s desire for budget treats unharmed by economic slump
UK catering and hospitality company Whitbread has revealed welcome news: their profit has increased to a level higher than before the recession. In the six-month period up to mid-August, they experienced "strong like-for-like sales growth across its businesses," according to the Financial Times.
However, the Whitbread brand family, which includes Beefeater and Brewers Fayre restaurants, had to be very proactive in an attempt to curb their losses. The FT suggests their £29-a-night offer at Premier Inn was a huge advantage, as was the introduction of a Costa loyalty club, which now has over 3 million members.
Whitbread’s findings suggest that the UK is still willing to fork out for weekends away and cups of luxury coffee. Premier Inn’s 14.5% sales growth is also due to business travellers, whose employers are now more reluctant to pay for premium accommodation. It would seem that rooms which still provide luxury bedding and other such trimmings are very popular among UK minibreakers - the public appreciates a little treat now and then which won’t break the bank.
Whitbread Chief Executive Alan Parker commented in a press release, “This strong performance across Whitbread is the result of our strategy to increase market share through organic expansion and driving like for like sales. We will continue to make progress in this 'age of austerity' by relentlessly focusing on meeting the needs of our customers." Here’s hoping their success will be echoed across the board.