Whitbread PLC (LSE: WTB) is a global hotel, coffee shop and restaurant company headquartered in Dunstable, United Kingdom. Its largest division is Premier Inn, which is the largest hotel brand in the UK with around 580 hotels and over 40,000 rooms. Its Costa Coffee chain has around 1,600 stores across 25 countries and is the second largest international coffee shop chain in the world. Its other brands include the restaurants Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Taybarns.
It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
Whitbread was set up by Samuel Whitbread who established a partnership with Thomas Shewell in 1742, taking on the name Whitbread & Co Ltd in 1799. In 1750 Samuel Whitbread moved his brewing operations to premises in Chiswell Street on the eastern rim of Georgian London, establishing the first purpose-built mass-production brewery in Britain.
Over the next 200 years, Whitbread & Co introduced many brands to the UK market, such as Stella Artois and Heineken, alongside its own brands, which grew in popularity in the second half of the 20th century, before declining in the 1990s as people migrated to more international brands such as Fosters and Budweiser.
The Company was first listed in the London Stock Exchange in 1948.