Since two Midlands families came together to form Mitchells & Butlers in 1898, we've grown to become the leading restaurant and pub company in the UK.
We've always been pioneers in the pub industry and grew gradually until we were running 7,000 pubs in the 1980s. The landmark Beer Orders in 1989 changed everything, but since then we've evolved rapidly with innovative brands like All Bar One, Browns and O'Neill's responding to the mood of the times. Back in the 1980s beer was by far our biggest seller, but nowadays, 50% of our sales comes from food. In fact, we now serve around 135 million meals a year, as well as some 435 million drinks.
From timeless London pubs to cutting edge city centre brasseries, from Liverpool's grand Philharmonic Dining Rooms to the Horseshoe Bar in Glasgow, we have a rich array of restaurants and pubs that reflect all the diversity and history you'd expect from a company well into its second century. You can rest assured we'll be doing everything we can to make the next 100 years every bit as interesting.
Two Midlands brewing and pub empires merge to form Mitchells & Butlers.
We merge with Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton Ltd then Charrington United, before becoming Bass PLC.
We run 7,000 pubs all over the UK, with beer by far our biggest seller. The business splits into separate brewing and retailing divisions called Bass Brewers and Bass Taverns.
As tastes change, food becomes key to our sales. Our first O'Neill's opens in Aberdeen and our first All Bar One in Surrey. We acquire Harvester, Browns and 550 pubs from Punch, as Mitchells & Butlers grows dramatically.
Bass PLC becomes Six Continents PLC. Three years later, the pub division lists separately to become Mitchells & Butlers once again. We pursue a strategy of operating large, food-led businesses, acquiring 239 pub restaurants from Whitbread PLC and exchanging 44 pub restaurants for 21 Express by Holiday Inn lodges.
The disposal of 333 Town and Community pubs to Stonegate Pub Company is announced. This is quickly followed by the purchase of 22 Ha Ha Bar & Grill businesses, which paves the way for more conversions to the hugely successful All Bar One and Browns brands.
We acquired the majority of the Orchid Pub Group, including 173 predominantly freehold pubs and the Orchid head office. The opportunity to acquire these businesses from Orchid has expanded Mitchells & Butlers share of the growing eating out market and reaffirms our position as the leading restaurant and pub operator in the UK.