All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers launches consultation on job cuts

All Bar One owner Mitchells & Butlers has started redundancy consultations with staff as it struggles with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pub and bar group, which also owns Harvester and Toby Carvery, said it is facing “significant difficulties” after restrictions tightened again.

It has not disclosed how many jobs are likely to be affected.

Last week, rival Greene King revealed plans to cut around 800 jobs, while fellow pub groups Young’s, Fuller’s and City Pub Group have also said they are planning redundancies.

Mitchells & Butlers operates around 1,700 restaurants, pubs and bars across the UK and employs around 44,000 people.

“Mitchells & Butlers, like many others in the sector, has taken the very difficult and regrettable decision to open redundancy consultations with a number of our frontline team and will seek to redeploy affected staff wherever possible,” a company spokeswoman said.

The announcement comes hours after bars in Liverpool were told to close as part of the Government’s new three-tiered restriction system for England.

The move comes after the introduction of the 10pm curfew, restrictions on service and a resultant slump in customer sentiment all weighed on hospitality operators.

Mitchells & Butlers called on the state to increase its support for the sector.

The spokeswoman said: “Our industry is operating in exceptionally challenging and uncertain circumstances.

“While we have worked incredibly hard to makes sites Covid-19 secure and keep staff and customers safe, we are facing significant difficulties from the recently introduced 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants, new enforced closures and tapering Government support that doesn’t go far enough.

“With trading restrictions and uncertainty likely to continue for the foreseeable future, we strongly urge the Government to step up the level of support it is offering to an industry which has been repeatedly singled out and taken the full brunt of restrictions.”

Shares in the company were 5.5% lower at 133p in early trading on Tuesday.