Hub by Premier Inn

Hub Chats: Tom Stoneham, Hub by

Premier Inn

Excellent pay, great benefits and a stable, supportive company are just a few of the many perks you’ll get when working for Hub by Premier Inn. But how does Hub differ from regular Premier Inn? And what’s it really like to work for these unique hotels? We chatted to hotel manager Tom Stoneham to find out…

hub by premier inn

Tom Stoneham, second left, with some of the Hub team

Meet Tom Stoneham, a multi-site manager running Brick Lane’s Hub as well as the brand new Hub in Shoreditch. Starting straight out of university, he’s worked for Premier Inn (a part of Whitbread) for five years.

He began his career journey by joining the Whitbread graduate training programme for Premier Inn Operations, where he spent a year learning the business by working in various departments – giving him experience managing the kitchen, reception, bar and more.

With so many awesome roles available to apply for right now on Placed App, we thought we’d ask him a little more about what it’s really like to work for Hub.

Why did you choose to work for Whitbread?

“When I finished uni I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted to do. I was applying for various different business related graduate schemes, but when I went to the assessment day for this role at Whitbread it immediately felt right to me.” 

“It was the regional managers who interviewed us on the assessment day, which showed that the company really cared about who was coming into the business. They wanted to make sure they were bringing in the right people.”

“Despite being senior leaders in the business, everyone seemed relaxed and welcoming and I could easily have a chat with them, which made me feel comfortable.”

“I knew from that day that this was the place I wanted to work in – and from then on my mind still hasn’t changed at all. Every decision that’s been made by the company in the 5 years that I’ve been here has always been focused on doing the right thing for our teams.”

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What makes Hub different from Premier Inn?

“My first year training was at Premier Inn, before I moved over to Hub. It’s a brand that’s still very much growing and working out what identity it is.”

“Hub by Premier Inn is a different atmosphere to Premier Inn. Our rooms are smaller with a maximum of two people in a room. We’re not aimed at families – we’re more aimed at your business traveler, with ultra-fast wifi for working and comfortable lounge areas. We’re more tech-focused, with smart TVs and controlled lights at the headboard for example, so we cater to a slightly different market than Premier Inn.”

“But above all, we’re a brand that’s still very much growing, and there’s still lots of work going on at the moment deciding what we want to be going forward and how we want to define ourselves. Which is why it’s an exciting brand to join, because there’s still so much more to come. Working here, it feels good that I’m playing my part in what will be the future of the branding of Hub.”

“Because we’re growing, we’re open to feedback so you can really input your ideas on what’s working and what’s not working in the hotel.”

Why should someone join Hub by Premier Inn?

“It’s part of a company that really cares and values its people. During the lockdown, every decision that Whitbread made was not about minimizing costs, but about protecting the team, such as investing in PPE, screens and ensuring people were still paid. They focused on things that were important to peoples’ livelihoods when having to survive through the pandemic. They made sure we knew they still cared about us.”

“So if you want to work somewhere where you’re valued, this is the place to be in.”

“There’s no limit to where you can be in this company, too. There are people who have started as Kitchen Porter and worked their way up to area manager and beyond. If you want to build a career here, the opportunities will come to you.”

“We’re also really flexible with our teams. We make the best arrangements we can for returning mothers coming back from maternity leave, being flexible with students’ schedules. We value the teams that want to grow but we also know the importance of those who want to come in and do their job and go home.”

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Are there any moments that have stood out to you in your career so far?

“I can name you a hundred different examples of where we’ve had guests who happen to be having the worst day, or are in tough situations. I currently have a guest in one of our hotels who’s going through a hard time. She’s been staying with us for around six or seven weeks now because we’re round the corner from the hospital where she needs to attend appointments. Last week she came in and bought a gift and cake for the team as a thank you for making her feel so welcome.”

“And that’s what’s really important to me – to know that the guests in our hotel feel the love that we want them to feel. So, even if it’s just taking twenty minutes to sit and have a chat with someone, and helping take their mind off of a tough time – those are the things in hospitality that matter.”

What type of person do you look for when recruiting for roles at Hub?

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re really outgoing or reserved, or whether it’s short-term work or your career, I look for someone who is genuine and caring. Someone who cares about guests, the business and our hotel.”

“Whether it’s a guest-facing role, housekeeping or any back of house position, as long as you care and want to do your fair share to help make everything work, you’ll be a good fit.”

For the latest roles at Hub by Premier Inn, make sure you follow their brand page on Placed app here to stay up-to-date!