Mitchells & Butlers’ sales on the up

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Improving sales: food and drink sales on the up for M&B
Improving sales: food and drink sales on the up for M&B

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Pub group giant Mitchells & Butlers, which operates about 1,600 sites across the UK, has reported strong food and drink sales growth for the four weeks to 7 January, attributed to healthy Christmas trade.

Like-for-like sales for the current financial year grew to 1.7%, with sales for the four weeks to 7 January up 4.7%, according to M&B.

Total sales have increased by 2.3%, while food and drink sales for the seven weeks to 7 January were up 2.8% and 2.9% respectively.

‘Positive momentum’

Chief executive Phil Urban said: “This is an encouraging performance, building on positive momentum from earlier in the year.

“We are starting to benefit from the many initiatives we continue to put in place, which gives us confidence in successfully delivering our strategic priorities going into the new year and a performance in line with the board’s expectations.”

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Late last year, the operator encouraged thousands of students to look at hospitality​ as a viable career option at the Skills Show.

The pubco pledged to create 1,700 apprenticeships across its sites this year as part of its current training scheme, which gives young people the opportunity to gain a level two qualification in bar, waiting, chef and culinary.

Management development

A three-year, fast-track hospitality management development programme was also created to help younger staff enter higher roles.

M&B director of learning and talent development Jan Smallbone said: “Starting as an apprentice gives young people a genuine alternative to academic study, and a real path to a long-term career in hospitality.

“We are dedicated to working with our teams to nurture this raw talent and develop them into the future managers across our businesses."

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