When rebrands go wrong

(And how to avoid the pitfalls)

Mitchells & Butlers readies push for restaurant brands as it switches to food-led business

Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has repositioned its Harvester restaurant brand and launched the first television campaign for its Toby Carvery business, as it looks to “rapidly reshape” its business to become food-led.

The pub company is trialling a television ad, created by St Luke’s, for Harvester in key regions ahead of a possible wider roll-out.

The activity trumpets the brand’s fresh “salad and grill” positioning and uses the strapline “bring out the best”. It coincides with plans to introduce a new format for its 171 restaurants that includes open kitchens and more modern décor.

St Luke’s has also created a campaign for Toby Carvery that positions the brand as the place for families to satisfy their passion for roast dinners.

Simon Cope, director of marketing at M&B, says the marketing aims to build on an “extremely successful” 12 months during which he claims sales and “guest satisfaction levels” have increased.

“We’re now looking to the next stage of Harvester and Toby Carvery’s brand journeys by raising awareness of their respective offers and recruiting new guests,” he adds.

M&B announced today (24 March) that it intends to move away from its price-sensitive drinks-led business to concentrate on its food offering. It plans to open high street variants of Harvester and Toby Carvery and open new outlets in leisure parks and retail parks. It hopes to increase the number of Harvester sites to 400 and grow Toby Carvery to 300 outlets. The company also aims to grow its Crown Carveries, Sizzling Pub Co, Premium Country Dining Group and Vintage Inns brands.

The plans follow a strategic review called for by recently appointed chairman John Lovering, who was brought in to replace the rejected Simon Laffin after a shareholder battle. 

Readers' comments (53)

  • What is the point of you valuing my opinion when you cannot find let alone acces your www.harvesterbringoutthebest.co.uk site and going to any other sites under Harvester refer to to it but you still cannot find it

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  • I have just tried your www.harvester-survey.co.uk and that doesn't seem to work either.

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  • I have been interested in the pub/restaurant business for some time now, and I like to follow the work of groups such as Mitchells and Butlers, and Whitbread, in their different pub chains that they operate.
    Thank you for the information here as well.

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  • You can never log on to a competition or a survey. Guess it is a 'con' to get email addess & then 'sell it'
    I don't know what SAm Whitbread would say about it. 'A Con' ?????

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  • Excellent service from all the staff and superb value for money. Considering how busy the venue is the restaurant and tables are always spotlessly presented.
    Living 18miles away but worth every mile!

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  • I agree........have been trying to enter the competition with my reciept and you cant get onto the site!........... Is there really a chance to win anything???????????

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  • Have recently visited two of your Pubs in the Midlands.Please tell me where your nearest one is to Skegness in Lincolnshire.

    Have a wonderfull meal would like more closer to home.

    thank you..

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  • Please advise me how to access your site www.harvesterbringoutthebest.co.uk as I am unable to locate it.

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  • As above, how do you get to do the survey? Is there one?

    I look forward to any reply [but I'm not holding my breath!

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  • Just back from harvester, Hillington ,Glasgow .No straws, no fresh orange juice, no baked potatoes !!!! Not an isolated incident. Seriously considering taking custom to another fast food outlet. PS. Restaurant faces a large MAKRO store, so no excuse for lack of anything , at a push.....

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