Premier Inn-owner Whitbread said on Tuesday it was planning up to 6,000 redundancies in its hotel and restaurant business, saying they were necessary to protect its business as the COVID-19 pandemic hammers the travel and hospitality sectors.
The company said it had begun formal consultations on the job cuts, which represent 18% of its total workforce, and expected a significant proportion of the layoffs to be voluntary.
Total sales for Whitbread’s UK and international businesses plunged 76.8% for the six months ended Aug. 27, as the company dealt with hotel and restaurant closures due to coronavirus curbs.
The company said UK accommodation sales performance has been ahead of the market since reopening and it has seen strong demand in tourist locations, while demand remained subdued in metropolitan areas and London.
The owner of restaurant and pub chains such as Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Bar + Block, which said last month it will cut around 15%-20% of its head office roles, added it was close to completing the process.