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Fears mount over future of Whitstable and Gravesend Beefeaters and Herne Bay’s Table Table as no bookings being taken after July 4

Speculation is mounting that two Kent Beefeater restaurants and a Table Table branch have been earmarked for closure.

Whitbread, the owner of the chains, remains tight-lipped over the future of its venues in the county, saying any changes are still subject to consultation.

The Long Reach Beefeater restaurant at Whitstable
The Long Reach Beefeater restaurant at Whitstable

But at The Long Reach Beefeater in Whitstable, The Woodlands Beefeater in Gravesend and Table Table in Herne Bay, it is no longer possible to book beyond July 4 on their websites.

Meanwhile, at all the other branches in Kent, customers can still reserve a table after this date.

Asked whether this means the three restaurants will close from July 5, a Whitbread spokesperson told KentOnline: “Any changes are subject to consultation so it is not possible to say with any certainty as to what and when anything will happen.

“It is also worth noting that all sites are open and trading as usual.”

At the end of April, Whitbread - which owns Premier Inn - announced it is to axe about 1,500 jobs across the UK amid plans to slash its chain of branded restaurants by more than 200 in favour of building more hotel rooms.

Herne Bay’s Table Table restaurant. Picture: Google
Herne Bay’s Table Table restaurant. Picture: Google

The group, which also owns Brewers Fayre sites, said the job cuts come from its total UK workforce of 37,000 employees.

It said the move is part of a plan to “optimise” its food and drink offering, to add more than 3,500 hotel rooms across its estate and increase “operational efficiencies”.

Whitbread said it plans to sell 126 of its branded restaurants, with 21 sales already having gone through. It will also convert 112 less profitable eateries into new hotel rooms.

Customers at The Woodlands previously told KentOnline they believe the Gravesend restaurant is set to close on July 5 as part of the proposals.

When asked by KentOnline earlier this month if the Whitstable and Herne Bay venues are set to close, a Whitbread spokesperson confirmed both could be impacted by the proposals the company has announced.

The Woodlands Beefeater in Wrotham Road, Gravesend, is among those "at risk". Picture: Google
The Woodlands Beefeater in Wrotham Road, Gravesend, is among those "at risk". Picture: Google

When pushed on whether the two sites could close or be sold, the spokesperson said they were unable to provide more specific detail as the proposals are still being worked through.

They added: “We recognise that this will be unsettling for our team members and we are providing them with dedicated support.

“We are committed to working hard to enable as many as possible of our team members to stay with us by either transferring into new roles, or by taking up other vacancies across the business more broadly through our existing recruitment activity.”

In a statement in April, Whitbread said: “The majority of our sites, including our existing 387 integrated restaurants and our remaining portfolio of 196 better performing branded restaurants, will continue to operate as normal and are not affected in any way.”

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