Established in 1898 Mitchells & Butlers operates circa 1,700 restaurants and pubs across the UK. The company runs many well-known brands such as All Bar One, Harvester, and Toby Carvery serving 435 million drinks and 135 million meals a year, food representing 50% of group sales.
Each year the company makes circa 250 investments in refurbishments and new kitchens, leading to significant volumes of surplus kitchen equipment which previously was often sent to landfill.
As part of a wider sustainability programme, the potential for reusing this equipment was quickly recognised by Kitchen Design, Equipment and Capacity Manager, Ellie Wrighton.
Focusing on sustainability Wrighton commented: “I realised most of the kitchen equipment we disposed of was not broken but just did not fit into the new offer post-investment.
“Motivated by the madness of disposing of kit that was still working, as well as chief executive Phil Urban’s mantra of ‘treat this like it’s your own money’, I designed a process by which previous redundant kit was assessed, stored, cleaned, tested, and serviced for use elsewhere: reducing our use of landfill and saving the company some money.”
The process is straightforward. Kitchen design managers grade the relevant equipment from 1 to 4, with anything graded 1–3 deemed as fit to be reused elsewhere in Mitchells and Butlers’ estate and anything graded 4 being stripped down for spare parts.
Equipment that is surplus to requirements due to menu changes, is collected by Ramco Foodservices and sold to other foodservice operators via dedicated catering auctions. The income from the sales is shared with Mitchells & Butlers.
Paul Fieldhouse, who leads Ramco Foodservices business development explained saying: “Working in close co-operation with Mitchells & Butlers we have been able to support the delivery of its ambitious sustainability programme and help recover some of the financial value of surplus equipment.
“Our approach to working with organisations is flexible and we offer several reuse options including simply purchasing unwanted assets, selling them on a client’s behalf and managing the complete process of evaluation, marketing and sales.”
The Ramco partnership which started in 2020 has already led to over 200 pieces of surplus kit including combi ovens, dishwashers, potato peelers, pizza ovens, ice machines, fryers, range cookers and griddles, finding new homes in hospitality and catering.
Wrighton added: “It’s great that through Ramco selling our old pieces of equipment they find their way to a new home to continue their life not via a large hole in the ground.”
Amy de Marsac, Head of Investor Relations and Sustainability at Mitchells & Butlers commented: “Working with Ramco ensures that spare equipment finds a new and productive home. Our sustainability programme is focused on minimising the negative impact our operations have on the environment and this partnership is an important part of our efforts.”