Alison Brittain, the boss of Premier Inn owner Whitbread,  has been named as Veuve Clicquot business woman of 2017.

A career banker, she joined Whitbread in 2016, becoming one of only a handful of women running FTSE 100 firms.

Whitbread owns Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre and Beefeater Grill restaurants, and the Costa coffee chain.

The judging panel said Brittain was “a role model for women striving to reach the top of large organisations and working across a range of traditionally male-dominated sectors”.

Brittain said: “I have a huge passion for people and a huge passion for… customer-orientated businesses.

“I have a lot of energy, and I love complex problems… and I’m hugely curious about things in the world.”

She joined Barclays Bank as a graduate trainee and later became head of retail banking at Lloyds Banking Group.

Brittain was appointed chief executive of Whitbread in January 2016.

Previous winners of the award include Harriett Green in 2014 when she was CEO of Thomas Cook Group and easyJet boss Carolyn McCall when she was chief executive of Guardian Media Group in 2008.