Eat Out to Help Out returned M&B to growth

Pubs and restaurants group Mitchells & Butlers, which includes Harvester, Toby Carvery, All Bar One and Miller & Carter, says the Government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme helped sales return to growth in September.

Miller & Carter is one of the chains owned by Mitchells & Butlers
Miller & Carter is one of the chains owned by Mitchells & Butlers

It was able to reopen the vast majority of its estate on July 4 and has now been trading for 11 weeks and currently has more than 95 per cent open.

In July like-for-like sales declined by 32.4% impacted by reduced capacity as a result of enforcement of social distancing measures and by consumers' caution to visit restaurants and pubs. During August, the scheme plus a temporary reduction in the rate of VAT on certain supplies combined to help return the business to like-for-like sales growth of 1.4%.

Trading in the first three weeks of September has settled slightly below this at a like-for-like sales decline of 6.4% before the introduction of additional trading restrictions this week.

Chief executive Phil Urban said: "After a difficult period of closure, we have been delighted to welcome back our guests with the vast majority of our sites open and trading again under Covid-secure procedures. I am particularly impressed by the way in which our teams have made this possible by responding to the challenge of our new operating environment with energy and enthusiasm.

"The future remains both challenging and uncertain, with only this week a curfew and other additional restrictions being imposed on how and when we can operate. However, we believe we are well placed to meet that challenge and to keep Mitchells & Butlers at the forefront of the eating and drinking-out market."

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