Whitbread has put the rollout of its Taybarns brand on hold and will assess further expansion later this year, M&C Report can reveal. The leisure group currently has seven of the all-you-can eat restaurants, which it first launched in 2008. While the concept tops customer satisfaction surveys for Whitbread, sales at the concept had dipped in their second year of operation. Alan Parker, the group’s chief executive, who steps down in November, told M&C Report the group would make a decision on the expansion of the brand later this year. He said: “Taybarns is doing really well and we have got seven of them open. These were converted from other formats and the increase in sales in their first year was 100%. “Sales have dropped off a bit in their second year to 80%. We will see how these perform in the second half of this year and will be making a decision [about expansion] later this year.” Whitbread is also said to be looking at ways of reducing the £1m build costs. The concept, which features a 35-foot serving counter, requires sites of about 10,000sq ft to provide between 250 and 300 covers and are principally located on retail and leisure parks. If the expansion does take a brief hiatus it marks a change of strategy for the group which last year had envisioned having as many as 30 of the restaurants by the end of 2010. Separately, Parker revealed the company has no plans to pursue a further asset swap or sell 40 pubs that do not currently have a co-located Premier Inn. He said that group would exhaust all planning opportunities to add Premier Inns, the group’s budget hotel chain, and added: “They are here to stay.”