Premier Inn owner Whitbread warns of staff shortages as demand recovers

Premier Inn owner Whitbread has said it will pay millions in wage rises and bonuses to try to combat what it calls persistent staff shortages.

The chain said hospitality-wide labour shortages meant a “material number of vacancies” remained unfilled.

Higher pay rates will cost Whitbread £12m-£13m, it said, while it is also paying £10m in retention bonuses.

However, it has seen a strong rebound in demand and says it is better placed than most to deal with cost increases.

Whitbread said its recovery during the six months to 26 August had been better than expected.

It said it had seen a strong recovery in UK demand since 17 May when Covid restrictions were eased to allow leisure overnight stays.

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