Company's change management programme takes top accolade at national HR awards

Mitchells & Butlers, the leading restaurant and pub company in the UK, has been recognised at the CBI People Awards for successfully devising and implementing a change management programme across the company.

The awards took place on Monday 28 March at the Marriott Hotel, London, and were attended by Employment Relations Minister, Ed Davey. The CBI, through the awards, aims to honour "forward-thinking, people-centred" organisations and this year's panel of judges included Katja Hall, director of employment policy, CBI; Ed Sweeney, chairman, ACAS; and David MacLeod, non-executive director, DFID.

Mitchells & Butlers took the top honour in the Change Management category which recognises the work carried out across the organisation in planning, communicating and implementing a strategy to develop the Company - operating in a marketplace facing significant challenges - into the UK's preferred choice for informal eating out in the UK.

Liz Phillips, Director of HR and Organisational Development at Mitchells & Butlers, commented: "Winning a CBI People Award is recognition of how our people strategy is supporting the business as it moves from being drinks orientated into a food-led, brand focused company. It is testament to the strength of the leadership within our management teams, the skills of our employees and the planning, communication and execution of our strategy across the whole of the organisation."

The award winning change management programme underpins Mitchells & Butlers' structured growth plan as outlined in the March 2010 strategic review. This focuses on:

  • Rapidly re-shaping Mitchells & Butlers into a food led business with significant growth potential
  • Increasing sales performance of pubs/restaurants with a view to increasing market share in food
  • Increasing productivity within pubs/restaurants
  • Improve key operating ratios, especially net operating margins
  • Move the basis of management pay and culture towards one which encourages greater growth in shareholder value

Some of the achievements for which Mitchells & Butlers was commended by the CBI People Awards include:

  • In 2010 the Company served around 125 million meals and 450 million drinks and increased its contribution per labour hour by 5.2%, serving 14 million more meals and 3 million more drinks with 700,000 fewer staff hours
  • Average profits per pub are the highest in the industry
  • Increased employee engagement (at 82%) and productivity through training, communication and coaching
  • Employee job satisfaction remained high at over 91% in 2010
  • Customer satisfaction up 2%
  • Increased employee engagement through NVQs and Apprenticeships
  • Creation of a Food Quality Training and Development team
  • Optimisation of Food Development Centres and a dedicated Kitchen Skills Academy

Liz adds: "We have a clear strategy for growth that builds on the core strengths of the business and we are confident that our people strategy will enable us to continue to be leaders in the casual dining restaurants and pub market."

Other winners at the CBI People Awards 2011 included Alumet Systems (Green Strategy); GKN (International People Engagement & Grand Prix award); Sainsbury's (Skills for the Future); and Tameside Hospital (Value in the Public Sector).

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Further details are available at and supporting photography can be downloaded at

Details on the CBI People Awards are available at