Evaluating the Whitbread/Premier Inn Audit: Performance in Economic Crisis

Whitbread/Premier Inn Audit


Corporate performance during economic crises is significantly dependent on managerial practices. A proper corporate audit can analyze the reliability and effectiveness of managerial practices during harsh economic conditions. Bubilek (2017, p. 1) postulated that internal audits and internal control are vital for all companies. They assist in effectively controlling operations, thus enhancing performance. The economic issues caused by the spread of COVID-19 affected the hotel industry the most. Managers in hotels, therefore, had to establish the best modes of operations to mitigate performance issues. This report presents an audit for the Whitbread PLC and Premier Inn Companies in the Britain market. The report sheds light on Whitbread PLC and Premier Inn Companies’ attempts to correct the performance issues during the 2019 and 2020s COVID-19 era.

Organization Structure, Culture, and Goals

The operations, culture, and strategies of Whitbread and Premier Inn differ in different ways. Whitbread has different operational paradigms and uses some major approaches and strategies that emphasize production. On the other hand, the Company has several brands operating under its management. Premier Inn is one of the brands under Whitbread. Nevertheless, the management and operations of the two companies differ in several ways, as presented below.


Whitbread PLC is the leading hospitality company in the UK. Whitbread PLC is a loved group with numerous brands, coffee shops, hotels, and restaurant services in the UK (“Whitbread,” n.d.). Whitbread group operates within the larger business environment that covers the business organization, community, and the stakeholders, as shown below (Business Case Study, 2019).

According to Business Case Study (2019), Whitbread PLC covers all the above societal aspects by creating corporate and community prosperity, helping others, and encouraging employees to develop themselves. From the above factors, Whitbread PLC’s operations demonstrate routine commitments to experimentation and innovation to better production and service quality with a customer-centered approach (Bower, 2018, p. 1). Therefore, Whitbread has reliable and productive goals and a culture that significantly facilitates production.

According to Bowing (2016), Whitbread PLC groups have achieved significant performance due to the reliable structural ownership model referred to as a multiple share arrangement. The umbrella aspect is the Company’s culture and operational structure and is one of the corporate elements of success and development. Generally, the Company has over 35,000 employees around the UK, with 12 board members and eight executive committee members (“Management,” 2021). The figure below presents the brand-oriented division structure’s details as adopted by the Whitbread PLC group in the UK.


The above aspects have been the order of operations and structuring of the Whitbread Company. Furthermore, the Company has a reliable and rich culture that emphasizes a customer-centered approach to business, leading to its development and performance. Also, Whitbread has different brands, and managing their operations and relationships in the union needs better managerial prospects.

Premier Inn

On the other hand, sources have shown that Premier Inn hotels have had a flawed organizational structure. First and foremost, Premier Inn is a brand operating under Whitbread PLC. The management processes and activities of Premier Inn have received criticism in the past. The Company’s management does not treat their employees to the needed standards. A study by Ghandour and Hussain (2015) outlined that employee responsiveness, reliability, and empathy as significant aspects of service quality lack in Premier Inn. Generally, the human management prospects of the Company have been below average, thus negative performance.

Furthermore, PeachyEssay (2019) presented the neglect of employee retention and motivation in Premier Inn. Employees are significant elements of quality and corporate performance. Therefore, this culture has often led to negative understanding in the Company. However, necessary changes done previously have assisted in developing the Company’s culture and modes of operations. To begin with, the Company has approximately 10,000 employees and 95,000 rooms. However, the main issue in the Company was the Human Resource Management aspects. Necessary changes in this department could therefore influence performance.

Recent Initiatives

From the above aspects about Whitbread and Premier Inn, the companies have entirely different methods of operation. The difference arises from their modes of management practices. These practices’ reliability is seen in their operational aspects, especially during the spread of COVID-19 in 2019 and 2020. According to Gursoy and Chi (2020, p. 527), the spread of COVID-19 caused unprecedented effects on the hospitality industry. He and Haris (2020, p. 176) further outlined that although COVID-19 caused harsh conditions in the hospitality industry, companies in this sector had to adopt the more reliable operations method that catered to CSR and marketing needs in society. For instance, some hospitality companies expanded operations into supermarket, shopping, and delivery services (Whitbread, 2020).

Generally, the impacts of COVID-19 affected Whitbread and Premier Inn significantly. As a result, the companies had to initiate some changes to cater to the market and economic needs. Jalagat (2016) argued that change and change management are vital for prosperity. Like most of the societal aspects, companies have to initiate changes and manage them well to influence development. A study by Banutu-Gomez and Banutu-Gomez (2016, p. 56) further sheds light on the importance of corporate change by presenting that changes are some of the main development elements in companies. During the COVID-19 era, change was a requirement in the hospitality industry. Ways of managing changes to cater to the market needs were essential in this industry.

Management in companies is a vital element of performance. Poor management practices in Premier Inn affect performance negatively, while the better one in Whitbread influenced performance positively. Implementing the same culture and performance aspects in Premier Inn by Whitbread could therefore attract profits and performance. Fuertes et al. (2020) expounded on the importance of strategic planning best practices by arguing that companies have to effectively determine, create, organize, formulate and regularly evaluate strategies. Strategic planning best practices are essential in the operations of Whitbread PLC and amendments needed for Premier Inn.

According to Yuliansya et al. (2017, p. 56), business strategies must be constructed as per company goals to maximize performance. Generally, better and reliable strategic planning in Company positively influences productivity. In Whitbread, Community betterment is at the center of their operations. As a result, the Company has always aimed at community service. Whitbread was therefore affected the least during the pandemic (Stone, 2020). According to Kaliappen and Abdullah (2016), strategic planning validity requires competitive strategy, innovation strategies, and market orientation elements for hotel businesses’ success. All these aspects are present in the past strategic planning of Whitbread PLC, thus reliability of the strategies.

On the other hand, Premier Inn was significantly affected due to its inferior operations in Britain. However, the Company’s management acknowledged the economic issues and therefore had to develop better strategies. Baker (2020), therefore, postulated that Whitbread has also developed better strategies to foster performance during the COVID-19 era. Therefore, the changes initiated in both the two companies indicate the matter’s seriousness and how the management reacted to mitigate performance issues, thus presents the importance of change in companies significantly when market patterns change.

Strategic Direction

Companies’ activities are essential contributors to corporate growth and development (Nasir, 2015, p. 1). Whitbread Company’s strategic decision-making is always reliable and effective because of the Company’s proper decision-making and management processes. On the other hand, Premier Inn has an inferior managerial culture that led to poor performance. Premier Inn does not prioritize employee retention and satisfaction, thus negatively influencing customer satisfaction and general corporate performance. However, Premier Inn is a brand operating under Whitbread today. As a result, it has been implementing better strategic decision-making in recent years to cater to the market needs.

The current economic issues caused by the spread of COVID-19 have significantly affected the hotel industry. The enforced restricted movements and activities in society led to a decline in economies worldwide. The hotel industry has been the most affected in the community. Therefore, hotel companies’ managers have to develop the best operations modes to mitigate risks and increase benefits (Kaushal & Srivastava, 2021 & Lee & Chen, 2020). Due to the harsh economic conditions, Whitbread Company also has to develop better methods of regaining sales.

From recent information, Whitbread Company was also significantly affected by the pandemic. The Company had to cut out up to 6000 job positions due to this pandemic (The Guardian, 2020). However, with better strategies and planning, the Company could save up to 4500 jobs (Ackerman, 2021). Remedying the situation meant integrating safety measures such as social distancing, hand sanitizing, and focused cleaning and hiring safety teams in the Company (“A generous,” n.d. ). On the other hand, Premier Inn had closed down most of its branches in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

However, the harsh conditions needed better operational strategies, and Therefore, Premier Inn came up with better functional paradigms that limited operations but attracted profits. For instance, the organization changed all the room offerings in the UK. The customers can change bookings. Furthermore, the Company has introduced the Premier Inn Clean Protect project to maintain high-quality hygiene to reassure clients (“Coronavirus,” 2021). Therefore, while Premier Inn’s management failed in the past, its current reactions to the spread of COVID-19 have been adequate and relevant.

As argued by Baker (2020), Premier Inn, under Whitbread, operates in the COVID-19 economic conditions with better strategies and operational paradigms. Premier Inn is a Britain brand under Whitbread and has strategies meant to trigger performance recovery from the economic turmoil of COVID-19. Whitbread had plans of restructuring the management aspects of Premier Inn to take advantage of the situation. With the community focus culture of Whitbread, it enforced rights issues that would allow Premier Inn to focus on reopening and operational strategies in the United Kingdom market. The operational strategies were meant to foster capital and operational advantage in the region. Whitbread also opened other hotels under Premier Inn in different regions to promote production and performance during the COVID-19 mayhem. Generally, the capital strategy was vital as it ensured performance in Premier Inn and the UK community. Therefore, taking over the Company by Whitbread was a reliable strategic step that influenced production positively.


Whitbread Company integrates social, cultural, and operational aspects to maximize performance. The managers of the organization use the tools and information in their proposal to increase performance. On the other hand, with the changes implemented in Premier Inn, the Company will also perform better, especially with proper management from Whitbread. Whitbread PLC uses internationalization theories and strategic management best practices concepts to foster change and implement the required operational standards. Furthermore, Whitbread management uses market advantages to better operations, and this strategy is promising for Premier Inn. Generally, by operating under the policies and culture of Whitbread, Premier Inn’s improvement is imminent.