M&B goes for value in high-street initiative

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by The PMA Team Mitchells & Butlers has quietly launched a new value-based high-street bar concept in the last month, the Morning Advertiser has...

by The PMA Team Mitchells & Butlers has quietly launched a new value-based high-street bar concept in the last month, the Morning Advertiser has discovered. The company began by converting an Edward's site in Lincoln into Bar LN2, which is the site's postcode. Other Edward's in Grimsby and Hounslow have also now been converted into the new style-bar concept. The sites are called Bar DN31 and Bar TW3 respectively. Former Goose sites in Swansea, Bolton and Clapham will be open before the end of July. The emphasis is on good value, with the site's postcode used to stress the links with the locality. A Mitchells & Butlers spokesman said: "We've been working on the idea for almost a year now. The Lincoln site was the first to open and we're getting very good feedback." The company has denied that the new concept spells the end for its Edward's brand. "It's a question of what's right for each location." The new concept features plasma screens and a modern look, with fewer soft furnishings than normal Edward's. Drink and food menus, and staff T-shirts, place an emphasis on the value proposition with repeated use of the "GR8 value" expression. Drinks offers include two bottles for £2.50 ­ Stella Artois and Miller Genuine Draft are among the choice of seven brands ­ and a choice of 11 top spirit brands available at £2.19 for a double. Nine menu items are offered on a buy-one-get-the-cheaper-one-free basis after 3pm. The food offer starts at 11am with breakfast ­ muesli is being offered at 99p and beans on toast is £1.49. From 9pm until closing time there's a special pizza menu that includes a slice of pizza for £1.50. "The bar is quite austere and modern ­ a little reminiscent of Yates new-look sites with its plasma screens," said one industry figure who visited the Lincoln bar this week. A City analyst said: "Edward's is badly positioned ­ not unlike Bar Med. You visit and end up asking: what's the point of difference? "The new Mitchells & Butlers concept is quite similar to JD Wetherspoon's Lloyds No 1 and that's bad news for the Yates Group." Two weeks ago, Mitchells & Butlers chief executive Tim Clarke told the Morning Advertiser: "You will increasingly see the two remaining big managed players left in the industry, ourselves and JD Wetherspoon, using our scale economies like the big supermarkets do.

Related topics: Mitchells & Butlers

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