Luton Beefeater restaurant could close as Whitbread confirms start of consultation into its future

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This comes as the business shifts its focus to locations with hotel rooms

Questions surround the future of The Warden Beefeater in Luton as its owner confirmed it had plans which could “impact the site”.

The owner of Beefeater restaurants, Dunstable-based Whitbread, refused to confirm rumours that the Beefeater would be closing but said: “We have announced proposals which could impact this site, but it’s important to note they are subject to consultation.”

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Its spokesperson added: “We recognise that 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 activity.

The Warden Beefeater on Barton Road. Picture: Google MapsThe Warden Beefeater on Barton Road. Picture: Google Maps
The Warden Beefeater on Barton Road. Picture: Google Maps

“It’s also worth noting there are no immediate changes and the site is open and trading as usual.”

Whitbread would not give details on if and when the restaurant might close for good.

This news comes after the company, which has its head office in Houghton Hall Business Park, revealed plans to cut its restaurants by more than 200, and build more hotel rooms last week. Around 1,500 jobs will be axed from its 37,000-strong workforce.

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Luton Today understands that staff have been told that the restaurant could close as early as July if proposals are approved.

Whitbread, which owns Thyme, Brewers Fayre and Beefeater, plans to sell 126 of its less profitable restaurants with the sale of 21 having already been agreed. There will be another 112 restaurants closed to be converted into new hotel rooms.

Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Paul, said: “I recognise that these changes will be unsettling for affected team members and we are committed to working hard to enable as many as possible of those affected to stay with Whitbread by either transferring into roles this plan will create, or by taking up other vacancies across the business more broadly through our existing recruitment activity that makes 15,000 hires each year.

"Our teams are at the heart of our guest experience, and I want to thank each and every team member for their continued hard work and dedication to deliver the great quality, service and value that our guests expect from us.”

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