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Thu 21st Aug 2014 - Whitbread expands Whitbread Inns local format to five sites
Whitbread expands Whitbread Inns local format to five sites: Whitbread has expanded its Whitbread Inns community-focused pub pilot scheme to five sites, it has emerged. The brand was quietly launched earlier this year but now has its own website, The “local” pub format comes eight years after the company sold 239 stand-alone pub sites to Mitchells & Butlers to focus on sites co-located with Premier Inns. The last new brand launches from Whitbread were eat-all-you-want buffet brand Taybarns, which grew to seven sites and a re-brand of existing sites to Table Table. The Whitbread Inns template is being tested at five sites across the country – The Bridgewater Arms, Shrewsbury, The George and Dragon, Marlow, The Hobbs Boat, Lympsham, The Globe, Christchurch and The Roundstone, Littlehampton. Menu prices are pitched at the upper value end with starters priced from £2.99, a choice of a dozen pub classic menu items, including a Marston’s Pedigree Steak and Ale pie, priced below £10 and a choice of 100% UK and Ireland Farm Assured gourmet burgers. The sites offer a two course evening meal for £9.99, a £4.99 day-time deal and the chance for mums to eat for free after 2pm on Sundays. Marketing Week magazine, which noted the decision to use the corporate name in the branding, stated: “Each location aims to reflect its local surroundings, the business claims, with seasonal cask ales and food positioned as quality alternatives for good value prices. A website has been set up for the brand, allowing visitors to access pictures, menus and contact details for each inn as well as book a table.” A spokeswoman for the business told the magazine: “Whitbread Inns are aiming to bring the classic pub and restaurant feel back to the local community. With five sites across the country, the new Whitbread Inns give locals the chance to experience fantastic great value food and drink full of seasonal flavour and a friendly atmosphere. The Hobb’s Boat site was formerly a Table Table. At its launch, Matt Kenley, regional manager for Whitbread Inns, said: ‘We’ve really challenged our thinking with Whitbread inns. We recognize that sometimes a national brand isn’t what’s needed so we’re giving the Hobb’s Boat back to the local community. We’ve created a fun an inclusive local business whilst retaining the support and security of a big international company.”

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