Premier Inn owner Whitbread has said it will axe around 1,500 jobs across the UK.

This comes as it plans to cut down its chain of branded restaurants by more than 200 as it looks to build more hotel rooms.

The group, which owns restaurants including Brewers Fayre and Beefeater, said the job cuts are still subject to consultation and come from its total UK workforce of 37,000 employees.

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

Whitbread plans to sell 126 of its less profitable branded restaurants and 21 of these sales have already gone through.

112 restaurants will be converted into new hotel rooms.

Dominic Paul, Whitbread chief executive, said: “We recognise that our transition will impact some of our team members so we will be providing support throughout this process and we are committed to working hard to enable as many as possible of those affected to remain with us.”

The news of the cuts comes after Whitbread’s pre-tax profit rose 21% to £452 million for the year ending February 29.