A new breed of landlord for Mitchells & Butlers

Supporting landlords to deliver a consistently personalised and welcoming experience to customers.

Client: Mitchells & Butlers plc
Type of project: Service Training, Customers Experience, Human Communication
Region: UK


The slow decline of the British pub is well documented. As our leisure time is filled with new experiences we can beam straight into our homes, so the pub – once the hub of so many communities – has fallen victim. This make the type of experience customers get when they do venture out all the more important.

Mitchells & Butlers plc owns a range of hospitality brands like Browns, Toby, Crown Carveries and O’Neil’s. They needed to support and train local managers in a new, “independent” brand concept to create the warm and welcoming experience customers would expect from a independent pub.

At the same time, they wanted to empower these landlords with key responsibilities to it genuinely felt like they were running the show.

What needed to change

Empowerment training needs: There’s a big difference between delegation and abdication. The concern was, with greater responsibilities given to front-line teams, they may struggle without the proper training and support.

Consistently high service experience: There was a need to pitch the support so landlords could personalise and adapt to best suit their style while still maintaining a high level of service experience.

To library of tools and support: If landlords wanted to run an event for their local community, or fancied trying a little entrepreneurial they needed immediate access to tools, support and approaches that would help them. A key challenge was finding a way to support them and mitigate risk for the business.

What we did

Being a landlord for the day

One of our more enjoyable research pieces… We spent time with landlords, front-line teams and customers analysing the types of event and situation that came up most often. Both in terms of landlord requirements and customer interactions.

We were able to develop a framework of priorities and needs a landlord and their team face on a day to day basis. We complimented this with Mitchells & Butlers existing support material.

The landlord’s handbook was born

A comprehensive reference guide that covered everything from managing low-level campaigns, customer journeys and key service skills. The “Landlord’s handbook” was designed to offer them clear, helpful guidance on how to use marketing, how to approach a campaign and how to keep on top of service excellence with their teams. It also worked through the metrics/KPIs and how to measure the success of an initiative.

Training out a new approach to being a landlord

We supported Mitchells & Butlers’ internal management and operational teams to roll out the new approach through a series of training sessions and collaborative workshops.

In summary

  • Mitchells & Butlers needed t empower it’s landlords and frontline teams to deliver a consistently high service but have the scope to adapt it as they saw fit.
  • We developed an approach which gave landlords the tools, guidance and support to make their pub their own.
  • M&B saved 15% of the central management team’s time since they we able to delegate activity locally and they saw a 45% increase in local marketing and PR activity.

If you’re doing something similar at the moment we’d love to chat and see if we can help.