Whitbread restaurant chief makes his mark

Paul Flaum

Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants (WHR) reshuffled its pack this week, with the former head of its restaurant business taking over as its new managing director.

Paul Flaum, who was head of Whitbread Restaurants, has stepped into the role previously occupied by Patrick Dempsey. He left the company last week after more than a decade at Whitbread.

Flaum knows the business well having worked for Whitbread for 11 years himself. He was COO of WHR prior to becoming MD Restaurants.

Andy Harrison, CEO of Whitbread, said the company has very ambitious growth plans which, combined with the strength of its current performance, make it a good time to implement its succession plans.

“Whitbread has laid out clear five year growth milestones and we have the strength and depth of leadership to successfully deliver those goals,” he said.

Flaum was appointed managing director of Restaurants in 2011. Prior to that, he was appointed COO of Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants in 2008 when the company combined its Premier Inn and Pub Restaurant divisions.

Flaum joined Whitbread in 2002 as operations director for Travel Inn, shortly before its acquisition and integration of Premier Lodge. He was then appointed COO of Premier Inn and given responsibility for the sales and business development functions.

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