Whitbread is trialling a new food concept in three of its Brewers Fayre sites, which if successful could be rolled out to other parts of its c150-strong estate, M&C Report understands

It is thought the group is trialling Chef’s Counter at three of its sites, the Weather Vane in Bracknell; the Rhubarb Triangle in Wakefield; and the Orbital in Cannock, as a variant to its Buffet Place format.

At the same time, M&C Report understands that the group is close to signing off the development of six further sites for its remodelled Beefeater format, with three more set to come on line before Christmas.

The group opened its latest site under the new format, the seventh in total, at the Observatory, Braunstone, in July. It is thought that the company has already seen a double-digit uplift in sales since it upgraded the site to the new look.

Over the 18 months, Whitbread has made several moves to strengthen the management team and operations across its c390-strong pub restaurant operation as it looks to “flex its muscles” in the sector.

Earlier this summer, it launched the Brewers Fayre Bonus Club scheme to enable guests to reap rewards for every visit.