Mitchells & Butlers plc is a member of the FTSE 250 and runs nearly 1800 managed pubs and restaurants, including some of the UK’s best-known restaurant and pub brands including All Bar One, Harvester, Toby Carvery, Browns, Vintage Inns and Sizzling Pubs.
Mitchells & Butlers has partnered with Prospect to work on a digital vision and transformation programme to support a seamless and innovative experience across digital touch points.
With a rigorous service design process involving in-depth interviews, prototyping and iterative development, together with customers, M&B stakeholders and technology partner, we are introducing a series of smart features and services that add measurable value.
We are working in close collaboration on extending the physical experience into the digital space by considering the complete customer journey – from helping guests to find the right pub or restaurant for their personal occasion to manage the planning, booking and physical experience with self-serve digital service experiences.
The strategic drivers are to create real value-adding moments of delight for the guests that will ultimately increase guest acquisition, bookings and insightful guest data to provide more effective and personalised guest service. Guests will be able to expect a digital experience seamlessly accessible through any channel, responding to a very broad demographic with differing needs and high brand and service expectations. Employees would be able to contribute to a better informed and proactive service, further driving guest loyalty and frequency.
To kick start the digital roadmap, we were asked to help amplify the Castle guest experience, which is a collection of 109 pubs that positions itself as an independent entrepreneurial brand. Eclectic urbanism, individual interior designs, community character, coupled with serving the very best craft beer and pub food provides a progressive social experience in an authentic pubs environment.
Guests expect more than a mere transaction and Castle pubs need to create relevance beyond superior product; the overall experience needs to reflect the individuality, quirky personality and price and stay relevant beyond the physical space.
We have all been there – a crowded pub, huge queues at the bar and nobody wants to leave the conversation to sort out the next round. Order & Pay allows customers to order food and drink to their table using a web-app and reorder effortlessly. Based on contextual research with customers and staff, we created an MVP version of the solution to test the service in the O’Neils pubs first. The service puts the customer in control by introducing table service, for the pubs this means easier communication of promotions and loyalty scheme and customer data collection.
Bookings are up and customers enjoy the convenience - the service is due to launch across the brand portfolio.
Mitchells & Butlers realised the untapped potential of enabling take away service for selected brands and wanted to trial the Take Away service with Harvester, a family friendly farmhouse-style restaurant chain with over 230 outlets in the UK. We created personas and mapped out the end to end customer and staff experience to identify key take away pain points in order to design out typical experience failures and provide a frictionless experience, including personalising meals and notifications alerting customers with pick up times. User research showed that customers expected clear signposting to ingredients, food allergies, food combos and package deals; to support M&B’s roadmap we also identified quick wins that considered offer redemption, saving customer details and up-selling of products to provide rapid and continuous service improvements. The UI design is based on the existing Harvester brand identity.
The overall take away experience is now being rolled out across relevant brand portfolio.
We are continuing our work to implement the digital strategy with extensive qualitative user and market research research across the entire brand portfolio to reduce booking complexities and introduce new services including a booking platform to access the entire brand portfolio, group bookings, party planning and the ability to pre-order the perfect party ingredients - including cakes and staff birthday songs!