Whitbread in the community
A Whitbread case study

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Page 6: Conclusion

Whitbread 2 Diagram 3All business organisations in the UK today aspire to being regarded as one of Britain’s most admired companies. Whitbread has been able to achieve this position as a result of a very carefully thought out strategic focus - i.e. making sure that the company concentrates on its best lines, creates an excellent public image, satisfies consumers, employees and other stakeholders, and makes an important and high profile contribution to the community.

The Most Admired Company survey sponsored by the well established and highly rated Management Today magazine, evaluates corporate reputation through performance in nine key characteristics:

  • Quality of management
  • Financial soundness
  • Ability to attract, develop and retain top talent
  • Quality of products and services
  • Value as a long term investment
  • Capacity to innovate
  • Quality of marketing
  • Community and environmental responsibility
  • Use of corporate assets

In the 1995 survey Whitbread came first in the drinks sector of the market place. In terms of its community and environmental responsibility this was the pleasing result of many years of successful achievement. For the first time in 1995, Whitbread appeared in the top ten of most admired companies nationally, after making spectacular progress from being only 161st in 1992.

Whitbread 2 Diagram 2It is clear from the table that some organisations like Cadbury Schweppes and Whitbread have made giant leaps forward in recent years. In the drinks sector, Whitbread has certainly been the key performer. Importantly, Whitbread is also the company in this sector which has made by far the biggest contribution to community programmes with a spend of over £2 million on community investment programme in 1996. However, it is not just the quantity of resources that are committed to these programmes which is important. Equally important is the quality and quality stems from having clear objectives, focus and commitment throughout the organisation. This case study has shown how Whitbread has put all of these ingredients into effect in creating a clear and well organised strategy, based on giving a top priority to the community. But of course this is nothing new, Whitbread has always been committed to the communities in which it operates. What is different today, is the extent of this commitment and the enthusiasm to make it work.

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