REAL GRADUATES

REAL CAREERS

AT THE HEART OF WHITBREAD

Wholehearted Opportunities

As proud owners of some of the country's best-loved hospitality brands, we serve an amazing 25 million UK customers each month in our Costa coffee shops, Premier Inn hotels and popular restaurants. Our ambition is ever-growing, and we’re looking for a new generation of leaders to take our business to the next level.

Fabian's Journey
Alexandra's Journey
Eszter's Journey

Welcome to the world of Whitbread graduates

Our graduates are at the heart of our business — making the decisions that have a real impact both on our customers, and their own individual careers. To get a real insight for what life is like on our programmes, follow our graduates’ journeys through their selfies, stories and real emotions.

Follow our graduates’ journeys

Our Graduate programmes will help you develop your skills, build a network of contacts and gain exposure in a range of areas and roles. You’ll also acquire function-specific experience, technical training and support for the professional qualifications you wish to work towards.

Graduate programmes

  • Premier Inn Operations Management
  • Whitbread Technology
  • Whitbread HR
  • Whitbread Finance
  • Costa General Management
  • Costa Marketing
View our Graduate programmes
Fabian
Premier Inn Management Graduate
Follow my journey
Alexandra
Whitbread HR Graduate
Follow my journey
Eszter
Costa General Management Graduate
Follow my journey

Fabian's week on the Premier Inn Management Programme

Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Tuesday 6.45am
86BPM

Smooth handover from the night team, no problems or issues on site – feeling pumped.

Tuesday 10.51am
82BPM

Heading to a meeting with my Cluster General Manager to discuss my progression and my next role – feeling curious.

Wednesday 8.13am
91BPM

Helping out during the busy breakfast hour – clearing tables and stocking the buffet – feeling productive.

Wednesday 9.33am
80BPM

Guest at reception because there’s a spider in her room and wants someone to get rid of it – feeling determined.

Wednesday 11.15am
78BPM

Briefing team members on the new Living Wage pay structure – feeling helpful.

Thursday 6.50am
69BPM

Just arrived at site, ready to count and store the drinks delivery – feeling organised.

Thursday 12.30pm
92BPM

Confused guest at reception because we cannot find his booking. Turns out he was booked in another hotel – feeling relieved.

Thursday 1.23pm
72BPM

Just sat down to prepare for an internal vacancy interview – feeling nervous.

Friday 12.35pm
99BPM

Just helped a guest with their colossal amounts of luggage as the lift is out of order – feeling beat.

Friday 1.22pm
69BPM

Sending emails to arrange work placements for students – feeling effective.

Friday 2.46pm
86BPM

Heading to Hammersmith tube station to collect money for the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital – feeling excited.

Saturday 2.50pm
74BPM

Arrived to work to start my late shift and jumped straight into checking guests in so they can head to the Rugby – feeling active.

Saturday 8.30pm
71BPM

Just finished a 2-for-1 at the bar, empty glasses everywhere – feeling productive.

Alexandra's week at the Support Centre

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Monday 7.18am
75BPM

Bought a Costa on my way to a meeting early in the morning – feeling ready.

Monday 12.58pm
89BPM

About to have a conference call with a supplier from the States – feeling excited.

Tuesday 9.08am
103BPM

In a meeting with Junior Directors, understanding how we can spot potential in our organisation – feeling upbeat.

Tuesday 12.309m
79BPM

Time to head to college to work on a presentation – feeling busy.

Wednesday 10.14am
92BPM

Just had a chat with my manager about my performance – feeling great.

Wednesday 3.47pm
75BPM

Learning about the structure of the organisation – feeling focused.

Thursday 10.00am
108BPM

Half-year review coming up, hope it goes well – feeling shaky.

Thursday 11.38am
96BPM

The review went really well, a lot of positive feedback! – feeling ecstatic.

Thursday 6.20pm
69BPM

Going out for dinner with the other grads to have a catch up – feeling happy.

Friday 8.44am
80BPM

It’s Friday yay! But still lots to do though, on my way to a meeting at Hub – feeling energised.

Friday 1.02pm
98BPM

Was just asked to pull a slide together for our Talent & Leadership Development Director to present to the new CEO in two hours – feeling jittery.

Eszter's week on the Costa General Management Programme

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Monday 9.22am
77BPM

Just signed up for a Leadership course – feeling motivated.

Monday 1.20pm
98BPM

The Regional Manager just walked into my store – feeling nervous.

Tuesday 8.58am
87BPM

About to lead my very own team for the first time – feeling prepared.

Tuesday 3.33pm
85BPM

Just hired a new team member – feeling successful.

Wednesday 8.35am
90BPM

On my way to the annual Store Managers’ conference – feeling thrilled.

Wednesday 4.02pm
88BPM

About to have a review with a member of my staff – feeling encouraged.

Thursday 9.50am
101BPM

About to meet my HR Business Partner to talk about my progression – feeling confident.

Thursday 12.13pm
86BPM

A customer just told me I’ve made her day – feeling pleased.

Friday 7.12am
81BPM

Time to brief the store team on the upcoming day – feeling motivated.

Friday 1.05pm
92BPM

About to check sales reports for the first week in my new store – feeling excited.

Beat-by-beat – a day in the life of our graduates

We followed our graduates throughout their workdays to discover what gets their pulses racing. Start by sharing a cup of coffee with them or click to watch their individual stories below.

Alexandra - Whitbread HR Graduate

Fabian - Premier Inn Management Graduate

Eszter - Costa General Management Graduate

Breakfast with the graduates

Support Centre

We’re responsible for over 2,000 hotels, restaurants and coffee shops in the UK and at least another 1,000 Costa stores around the world. Their success depends on the passion, commitment and ambition of people like you.

Find out more

Operations

Designed for commercially focused graduates, this programme will expose you to various roles and operational areas, and give you a deep understanding of how our business works. Add the mentoring you’ll get from senior managers, and you should be able to run your own site within 12 months.

Find out more

Support Centre Roles

We have several roles on offer, so you can be sure to find one to fit your personality and interests. Something that will really get your heart racing. Filter by brand or simply read through all our programmes' descriptions to find what you’re looking for to take that first step towards a great career.

Support Centre
Operations
Whitbread HR

This programme takes your passion for people and turns it into exceptional HR management expertise. You’ll join our brands’ operational teams to fully understand the heart of our business, and then build up specialist skills in areas such as Resourcing, Employee Relations, Reward, Operational HR Management and Learning & Skills. You’ll also be supported to achieve CIPD accreditation. Motivated and inspired, we’ll expect you to be a genuine people person, and ready to work with your colleagues to achieve success.

What you’ll need

  • 2:1 degree
  • Any degree subject
Apply here
Whitbread Finance

Working in a business-critical role from day one, you’ll provide commercial analysis that informs our strategic management decisions. With a rotational structure that ensures you acquire a breadth of experience as well as depth of knowledge, you’ll be mentored by one of our leaders, receiving the support to help you fast-track your career. With great analytical and team working skills, we’ll expect you to have an inquisitive nature and a desire to understand how a business succeeds from a financial perspective. And it goes without saying that you’ll have real commitment, drive and a positive attitude.

What you’ll need

  • 2:1 degree
  • Any degree subject
Apply here
Whitbread Technology

Our Technology function is undergoing an exciting period of transformation. Join the Technology programme and you could be bringing innovative tech to our hotels, developing new code to support Whitbread’s digital expansion, or analysing data and trends to improve customer service. We have opportunities in Agile Digital Development & Delivery, IT Architecture and IS Management, rotating through various areas from Analytics to Project Management. Passionate about technology and everything digital, you’ll be a quick learner and happy to work independently or as part of a team.

What you’ll need

  • 2:1 degree
  • Any degree subject
Apply here
Whitbread HR

This programme takes your passion for people and turns it into exceptional HR management expertise. You’ll join our brands’ operational teams to fully understand the heart of our business, and then build up specialist skills in areas such as Resourcing, Employee Relations, Reward, Operational HR Management and Learning & Skills. You’ll also be supported to achieve CIPD accreditation. Motivated and inspired, we’ll expect you to be a genuine people person, and ready to work with your colleagues to achieve success.

What you’ll need

  • 2:1 degree
  • Any degree subject
Apply here
Whitbread Finance

Working in a business-critical role from day one, you’ll provide commercial analysis that informs our strategic management decisions. With a rotational structure that ensures you acquire a breadth of experience as well as depth of knowledge, you’ll be mentored by one of our leaders, receiving the support to help you fast-track your career. With great analytical and team working skills, we’ll expect you to have an inquisitive nature and a desire to understand how a business succeeds from a financial perspective. And it goes without saying that you’ll have real commitment, drive and a positive attitude.

What you’ll need

  • 2:1 degree
  • Any degree subject
Apply here
Whitbread Technology

Our Technology function is undergoing an exciting period of transformation. Join the Technology programme and you could be bringing innovative tech to our hotels, developing new code to support Whitbread’s digital expansion, or analysing data and trends to improve customer service. We have opportunities in Agile Digital Development & Delivery, IT Architecture, IT Security and IS Management, rotating through various areas from Analytics to Project Management. Passionate about technology and everything digital, you’ll be a quick learner and happy to work independently or as part of a team.

What you’ll need

  • 2:1 degree
  • Any degree subject
Apply here

Operations Roles

We have several roles on offer, so you can be sure to find one to fit your personality and interests. Something that will really get your heart racing. Filter by brand or simply read through all our programmes' descriptions to find what you’re looking for to take that first step towards a great career.

Support Centre
Operations
Premier Inn Operations Management

Throughout the programme, you'll experience all the operating aspects of our organisation as you prepare for your role as an Operations Manager. You’ll be working in locations across the UK before taking a management position and leading your own team to success. You’ll benefit from first-class mentoring and support as you demonstrate your commitment to a career in hospitality. Dynamic and with brilliant team leadership credentials, you’ll be the sort of person who can put a smile on the faces of all our guests.

What you’ll need

  • Any degree classification & subject
  • National mobility
  • Willingness to work evening and weekend shifts when needed
Apply here
Costa General Management

You’ll start at a Costa store, learning how to make the perfect cup of coffee and keep our customers smiling. This personally tailored two-year programme will see you rotating through different types of stores, but also give you the chance to join central functional areas before becoming a Store Manager or progressing to Assistant Retail Development Manager level. Determined, ambitious and flexible, you’ll be ready to move around different areas of our UK business, with the chance of an international placement.

What you’ll need

  • 2:1 degree
  • Any degree subject
  • National mobility
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends
Apply here
Premier Inn Operations Management

Throughout the programme, you'll experience all the operating aspects of our organisation as you prepare for your role as an Operations Manager. You’ll be working in locations across the UK before taking a management position and leading your own team to success. You’ll benefit from first-class mentoring and support as you demonstrate your commitment to a career in hospitality. Dynamic and with brilliant team leadership credentials, you’ll be the sort of person who can put a smile on the faces of all our guests.

What you’ll need

  • Any degree classification & subject
  • National mobility
  • Willingness to work evening and weekend shifts when needed
Apply here
Costa General Management

You’ll start at a Costa store, learning how to make the perfect cup of coffee and keep our customers smiling. This personally tailored two-year programme will see you rotating through different types of stores, but also give you the chance to join central functional areas before becoming a Store Manager or progressing to Assistant Retail Development Manager level. Determined, ambitious and flexible, you’ll be ready to move around different areas of our UK business, with the chance of an international placement.

What you’ll need

  • 2:1 degree
  • Any degree subject
  • National mobility
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends
Apply here

Rewards & Benefits

When you join us, you’ll enjoy a great range of rewards and benefits, including up to a 10% annual bonus, a contributory pension scheme and our share saving schemes. We also offer life assurance, a 25% discount on all our brands and 25 days holiday. And should you wish to study for further professional qualifications, we’ll encourage – and pay you – all the way too.
Annual bonus
Pension scheme
Life assurance
25 days holiday

Good to know

Everyone is welcome to apply to any of our programmes as long as you meet our eligibility requirements. This includes anybody already working for Whitbread and graduates from outside the UK (make sure you have a work visa). Recruitment begins in October. We operate on a first-come, first-served basis and aim to run our assessment centres from November, so don’t delay submitting your application. It’s important you show passion for your chosen career, so please only apply for one programme.

Application process

At Whitbread, it’s not just about what’s on your CV; it’s about who you are and how you do things. We keep our application process as simple as possible, so take the following steps:

1. Complete and submit your application form.

Top tip: think about what makes you different – it’s not just about your academic achievements; it’s also about the person behind them.

2. We review your application and invite successful candidates to a telephone interview with one of our team.

Top tip: we may refer to your application and CV during the interview, so make sure you familiarise yourself with your experience before the call.

3. After the telephone interview, we invite the strongest candidates to complete our online testing.

Top tip: you won’t be able to restart your assessments once started, so make sure you can complete the stage without being interrupted.

4. Those who are successful at this stage will be invited to a recruitment event where you’ll have a face-to-face interview, complete some group tasks and show us what you’re made of.

Top tip: don’t forget to do your research on Whitbread and our brands, have confidence in your abilities, and engage with the people around you.