Pub and restaurant chain Mitchells & Butlers is replacing its till, payment, table management and kitchen management systems to improve its customer service.
The owner of brands including Toby Carvery, Harvester, All Bar One and O’Neill’s plans to finish upgrading its till systems and introduce kitchen management systems in its food-led businesses by the spring of 2015.
“The new systems will enable the delivery of significantly improved guest service, measured both in quality and speed, and allow improvements in menus and promotional activity to manage our gross margins better,” the company said in its full-year results ended 26 November.
“The project is now in full rollout across the estate at an expected cost of £33 million, of which approximately two-thirds will be capital.”
Mitchells & Butlers said that 320 sites are now live with the new systems, and it expects to have the remainder, adding up to a total of 1,600 sites, live by 2015.
The company hopes to encourage repeat visits to its pubs and restaurants by improving the customer service - which it can now measure.
Mitchells & Butlers has given its branches access a live, online dashboard that lets them see how they score against the most critical measures that drive guests to revisit and recommend the business to their friends. It also allows them to see Tripadvisor and Facebook review comments.
Meanwhile, the company said that it expects its investments in new central systems - an upgrade to its JD Edwards finance system and a replacement of its PeopleSoft central HR system - in its retail support centre will also soon start to benefit the business.
This year is the first full year of Mitchells & Butlers’ transformation programme that was announced on 22 November 2011. The company restructured its central functions and modernised its core IT infrastructure in 2012, which delivered annual savings of £10 million. It recorded a loss of £7 million in IT costs for 2012, which were mainly redundancy costs, fees in relation to professional advisors and one-off costs connected with the transfer of its IBM data centre to a hosted service from Fujitsu.