M&B’s fledgling new food concepts remain in “incubation” while it refines offers

The two newest food concepts in Mitchells & Butlers’ portfolio remain in “incubation” while their offering is fine-tuned, but the company insists it is “pleased” with their performance so far. 

Chicken Society and Son of Steak were both launched during the pub and restaurant giant’s last financial year as part of a move to broaden its portfolio.

The maiden Chicken Society outlet is in Finchley, London, while Son of Steak’s single site so far is based in Nottingham.

The company hopes to reach a point where they can be rolled out across multiple sites after receiving “very positive” customer feedback, but needs to make sure any kinks are fully ironed out first.

“These concepts remain in incubation whilst we refine the offers and we are pleased with the progress being made,” the company stated. “The creation of new offers was important to breed an innovation ethos across the business and is something which has translated to existing brands in terms of offer development.”

It said All Bar One was a prime example of its focus on brand development to keep its businesses relevant to their consumer groups after recently devising a new menu. It includes a larger range of healthy dishes, as well as vegan options, and was created with specialist input from the company’s in-house nutritionist.

Meanwhile, M&B has also revealed that more of its units are now set up to handle delivery. Although delivery remains a relatively small part of what it does, it is currently working with Deliveroo and JustEat across 109 sites and likely to include more.

“Recent trials with JustEat have also enabled us to explore the potential of click and collect, presenting an opportunity to participate directly in this market through take-away,” the company added. “Guests increasingly expect to use technology as part of their experience in site. To facilitate this, we have rolled out an online payment option across all of our brands, which allows guests to view and pay their bill from their mobile device with the option to split the cost amongst a group.”

Appropriate pricing remains critical to success in a competitive environment and M&B said it was continuing to review this area in the context of the local markets that its businesses operate.

“The flexibility for guests to premiumise their experience through enhanced products and menus is a key part of our strategy,” it said. “We have been making further progress in this area through brand offer development, ensuring an appropriate stretch in the range of items within all of our brands as well as exploring and developing the way in which the offer is presented  to guests though menu layout.”

M&B generated sales of £1.13 billion during the first half of its current financial year, with the company trading from 1,700 sites.

IMAGE CREDIT: Chicken Society, Facebook page

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