Express & Star

Stourbridge and Kingswinford pub restaurants under threat as company in consultation

Two pub restaurants in the Stourbridge area are thought to be under threat after proposals from parent company Whitbread to look at the food side of its business.

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Brewers Fayre in Birmingham Street, Stourbridge which opened in 2015 and operates as a pub/restaurant and hotel along with Kingswinford Beefeater in Dudley Road are the subject of a nationwide consultation on all of Whitbread PLC's portfolio, despite the group announcing record profits before tax earlier this month of £561m. Both operate Premier Inn franchises alongside the pub.

Members of the Stourbridge Matters Facebook group claim they have been told by staff that the Brewers Fayre pub and restaurant will be closing on July 4.

Louanne Massey commented: "Went for breakfast yesterday closing July 4 all staff redundant. Breakfast good meals not so good."

Verity Elizabeth reproduced a tweet which seemed to confirm the date.

The Brewers Fayre in Birmingham Street, Stourbridge which could be under threat

A statement from the parent company said some of its branded restaurants had been impacted by a reduction in footfall from non-hotel guests and are struggling to meet targets.

It said: "Having responded to this shift in demand with several commercial initiatives during the financial year of 2024, we have continued to explore ways that can further improve the service to our hotel guests whilst also enhancing our financial performance.

"Over the next 24 months we plan to replace around 112 of our lower-returning branded restaurants with integrated restaurants and use the vacated space to add new higher returning hotel rooms to help meet strong demand. These branded restaurants generated an adjusted loss before tax of £19m.

"At these locations we will transfer the delivery of food and beverage for our hotel guests to an integrated restaurant that will be built inside the neighbouring hotel, mirroring the successful format of our 387 integrated restaurants that are already in operation across our estate.

"Over the next 24 months we are planning to exit 126 branded restaurants – they will continue to operate as they do now so that they can be sold as going concerns.

"The proceeds from these disposals will be used to help fund our investment in building a more tailored, integrated restaurant at our affected hotels as well as the construction of new hotel rooms across the estate.

"We recognise this will be unsettling for our team members and we are providing them with dedicated support.

"We are committed to working hard to enable as many as possible of our affected team members to stay with us by either transferring into new roles, or by taking up other vacancies across the business more broadly through our existing recruitment activities.

"The consultation is currently underway and all sites will continue to operate as normal in the meantime."

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