Ben Fricke

Procurement & Supply Chain Director, Whitbread

Whitbread is a FTSE 100 business, with a history stretching back to 1742. It is the owner of Premier Inn, the UK’s biggest hotel brand, employing over 40,000 people in 1,600 Premier Inn hotels and restaurants across the UK, and serving over five million customers every month. In recent years, Whitbread has expanded at pace in Germany and now operates over 50 Premier Inns, with a strong pipeline of growth and an ambition to become the market leader.

Ben joined the business in 2022 as Group Procurement & Supply Chain Director (CPO/CSCO). He is accountable for all areas of spend and supply chain operations across the Group, supporting Premier Inn and our restaurant brands (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Bar & Block, Whitbread Inns) in the UK and across Europe. He is also a Director of Whitbread’s International Sourcing business based in Shanghai. Ben leads on supplier engagement with Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity, Whitbread’s strategic charity partner, for which we have raised over £20m to date.

The industry-leading status of Whitbread’s Procurement and Supply Chain function was recognised as Finalists in two major categories at the World Procurement Awards in 2023, including the headline Procurement Excellence award.

Before joining Whitbread, Ben led procurement and supply chain functions for a wide range of blue chip foodservice businesses in Europe (including Pizza Hut, KFC, Nando’s and Subway) and the most recently in the Middle East, where he sat on the ExCo for the world’s fastest growing restaurant operator, Americana, who operate 2,500 branded restaurants across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Outside procurement and supply chain, he also set up and grew the first app-based retail loyalty scheme for a major retailer in Europe and has experience in marketing and foodservice operations. He has a particular passion for negotiation theory and coaching as well as purpose-led procurement.