Q&A: Does Premier Inn Franchise in the UK?

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Premier Inn

Does Premier Inn franchise? Read on to find out more about the leading hotel brand and how you can get involved.

Premier Inn is the biggest hotel brand in the UK, with over 72,000 rooms across 785 hotels. The budget chain offers affordable accommodation and was established in 1987 by Whitbread, a British multinational hotel and restaurant company. Let’s learn a little more about the brand.

History of Premier Inn

The first Premier Inn hotel opened its doors in 1987 in Basildon, Essex, branded as Travel Inn. 17 years later in 2004, its parent company, Whitbread PLC, acquired the hotel chain Premier Lodge, which added over 140 hotels to its hotel portfolio. Whitbread then merged Travel Inn and Premier Lodge to make Premier Travel Inn.

A year later, Premier Travel Inn opened its 500th hotel in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Then in 2006, it bought 11 Holiday Inn hotels and started to create its own new bedroom designs to roll out across the network.

In 2007, Whitbread renamed the brand Premier Inn and bought Golden Tulip UK, which included six hotels that operated under the Tulip Inn and Golden Tulip brands. They were then transformed into Premier Inns.

A year later, the brand kicked off a three-year, £100 million expansion of Premier Inn in London. At the same time, Whitbread bought 21 Express by Holiday Inn hotels in exchange for 44 Beefeater and Brewers Fayre restaurants where building a Premier Inn was not possible.

Premier Inn opened its 600th hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon. It has since sold some of the smaller hotels to Good Night Inns, as the majority were originally Premier Lodges in less profitable locations. Despite this, Premier Inn launched its 700th hotel in July 2015.

Premier Inn is just one of Whitbread’s brands. Other businesses in its portfolio include Brewers Fayre, Beefeater, Cookhouse & Pub, Bar + Block, Thyme, Table Table and hub.

Does Premier Inn franchise?

Unfortunately, buying a Premier Inn franchise unit is not currently possible, as all branches are company-owned. However, there are other ways to work with the brand if you’re keen to be involved. Read on to find out more.

How to get involved with Premier Inn

If you want to work with Premier Inn, you should apply for a job with its parent company Whitbread. From graduate roles to team leaders, kitchen jobs to support centre positions, there’s plenty to choose from at sites across the UK.

The hotel sector in the UK

Hotels are still a thriving sector in the UK’s hospitality industry, despite nationwide uncertainty regarding how Brexit will affect the market. At the moment, many Brits are opting to take mini-breaks in the UK rather than travel abroad, boosting the ‘staycation’ market – much to the delight of UK hotel owners.

Another change facing the hospitality industry is rising awareness surrounding sustainability. Hotel brands are gradually taking note of their environmental impact and minimising waste. They’re also adapting to accommodate younger travellers by incorporating new features such as mobile booking apps.

Similar franchise opportunities

There are no Premier Inn franchise units, but if you want to join the hotel business, you could look into alternative investment opportunities. Travelodge and Hemera Holidays offer great franchise programmes.


Travelodge is the second largest budget hotel chain in the industry after Premier Inn. The brand has a large clientele, as it has become synonymous with affordable accommodation in the UK. With more than 500 branches, Travelodge has a strong presence in all major towns and cities.

Travelodges can be built to fit a range of designs. They have previously been incorporated into Grade II-listed buildings, office conversions, purpose-built hotels, acquisitions of existing hotels and as part of co-partnerships with leading retailers, supermarkets and pub companies.

  • Becoming a Travelodge franchisee: In joining this franchise, you are becoming part of a well-known, reputable brand and a lucrative industry. Unfortunately, it’s not actively looking for new investors at the moment, but it’s worth checking back every now and then to see whether it starts accepting applications again in the future.
  • How much you need to invest: To start a Travelodge hotel, you’ll need a liquid capital of around £190,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Travelodge guides its franchisees throughout the set-up process and offers continued support once the hotel is up and running.

Hemera Holidays

Hemera Holidays offers an array of luxury lodges, holiday homes and cabins for holiday lettings. Founded in 2014, the UK holiday brand has grown rapidly in the last four years, and is consequently on the hunt for savvy entrepreneurs all over the UK.

As previously mentioned, UK holidays are becoming more on-trend and hot tub lodges in particular are in huge demand. Therefore, many landlords are progressing into the holiday market – one of the most rapidly growing markets in UK. Hemera Holidays lets you take advantage of this, and all you need is drive, knowledge of the local area and the ability to locate and work with holiday let owners.

  • Becoming a Hemera Holidays franchisee: The holiday company prides itself on offering a top service, rather than price, and wants franchisees who share these core values. Franchisees will be able to work flexible hours, build their business around family life and find joy in helping holidaymakers enjoy a trip they won’t forget.
  • How much you need to invest: The total investment is £4,995 and you can expect to make around £75,000 in revenue after two years.
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees make money from each booking they generate. They’ll also have a dedicated team behind them, who will be on-call to provide support in admin, finance and marketing.

Join the hotel industry

Premier Inn franchise units don’t exist, but there are lots of other options out there for savvy entrepreneurs. By doing your research and talking to industry professionals, you’ll set yourself on the right path to start a thriving hotel franchise business.

If you’re sure the hospitality industry is for you, why not take a look at some more of our industry guides?

>> Read more articles on the Hotel sector

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