Premier Inn explores ways to scale new foodservice concept

A standalone coffee shop brand created to complement Premier Inn’s new budget ‘Hub’ hotel in London’s Covent Garden could be scaled across multiple sites if the concept proves a hit with customers.

‘Proven Dough’ at The Hub in St Martin’s Lane takes its inspiration from sister company Costa, but the menu is tailored to meet the requirements of hotel guests that largely want a breakfast offering before exploring the sights of the capital.

Given the array of dining options on its doorstep, Premier Inn management opted against the idea of an in-house restaurant and instead focused on creating an all-day grab-and-go concept based around porridge, toasted sandwiches, salads, soups and pasta dishes. Most of its produce is sourced locally from nearby Borough Market.

The street-facing coffee shop is also designed to appeal to non-hotel guests wanting hot beverages, breakfast and snacks.

“We want this to feel like a deli that sits on the high street, rather than a hotel deli — and there is a quite a significant difference,” David Marr, cluster general manager at Hub by Premier Inn told FEJ. “What’s great is that people are walking in and saying, ‘we are looking for the Hub by Premier Inn’ because the restaurant doesn’t feel like part of the hotel, and that is something that hopefully means the concept is succeeding.”

Proven Dough is reliant on a number of key catering equipment brands to deliver its offering, including Astoria, Eloma, Hatco, Roband and Williams.

Chris George, head of energy and environment at Whitbread, says the company has endeavoured to take the best aspects of Costa but adapt it for the location and hotel audience.

“It is a bit of a trial, and we learning lots of things already,” he said. “We are already thinking about how we might go about scaling it across the sites we have planned — should it be exactly the same or should we tweak it somehow?”

Hub by Premier Inn is a new generation of smartly designed hotels in the heart of the city. With compact rooms and digitally enhanced connectivity, the brand is aimed at those looking for a contemporary and affordable hotel in a must-have city centre location.

To date, Hub by Premier Inn has a committed pipeline of 13 hotels — with 10 secured sites in London (of which Covent Garden St Martin’s Lane is currently the sole trading hotel) and three in Edinburgh. Collectively, this equates to more than 2,500 rooms, which contributes to the overall Premier Inn target of 75,000 bedrooms by 2018.




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