Midland pubs group Mitchells & Butlers has revealed new plans to reshape the company into a food-led business – months after a boardroom coup was completed.
In a strategic review statement the group said it would expand its food-led mid-market brands Harvester, Toby Carvery, Crown Carveries, Sizzling Pub Co, Premium Country Dining and Vintage Inns.
The moves come as a plan to refocus the firm around its food offer, which includes withdrawing from primarily drinks-led operations and converting into growth brands.
The plans, which follow a 55-day strategy review headed up by new M&B chairman John Lovering, also include developing smaller town centre variants of Harvester and Toby Carvery.
M&B also outlined to investors plans to improve its key operating ratios, especially net operating margins, and improve its return on capital expenditure.
The moves came after a bitter row between the M&B board and activist shareholders including billionaire Joe Lewis earlier this year, which saw a number of board changes, including the appointment of former Scottish & Newcastle managing director Jeremy Blood and the resignation of then-M&B chairman Simon Laffin.
The firm also said it would address its pension funding and reduce net debt to around five times EBITDA – earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
Mr Lovering said: “I am delighted with the cohesion and effectiveness of the new Board which has quickly concluded on a highly attractive growth plan for the business.
“We are already implementing the plans with targets being cascaded through the business. I am very encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of the management and staff and believe that we have all the right ingredients for success.”