Hospitality, restaurant jobs, waiting jobs, bar jobs, hospitality career, general manager

Progression and Succession at M&B - From General Manager to Operations Manager

Progression and Succession at M&B - From General Manager to Operations Manager

Amandeep Chahal our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 22/03/2023

At Mitchells and Butlers, we believe in providing all of our teams the opportunity to grow in their roles with progression and development being a key pillar to everything we do.

In this blog series we will be speaking to some of the inspirational people across the business who have showcased the breadth of opportunity for progression here at M&B both across roles and our 14 unique brands.

In this blog we will be putting the spotlight on Operations Manager David Lawson. Since joining M&B in 2010 as a General Manager, David has worked his way up through the business working across several of our brands including Browns, Sizzling and Castle. David is a great example of how working for a multi brand business such as M&B can set you up for success.

In this blog David speaks to us about his journey at M&B and how he feels he has been supported to create a successful career within hospitality. 

What made you decide to join M&B?

I used to run a HaHa bar in Sheffield. In 2010 M&B bought HaHa and I moved across to M&B. I had always been a guest of M&B businesses, so it was exciting to become part of a much bigger company with great opportunities.

Please can you summarise your career at M&B and the different roles 

After coming across as part of HaHa my site in Sheffield was remodelled into a Browns. I was General Manager there for about 3 years and then got the opportunity to take over the Leeds Browns site. Leeds was always one of the north flagship sites, so it was great to have a new opportunity. Also, having been living in Leeds during all my time in Sheffield it was great to be closer to home!

 I was GM at Browns Leeds for about 3 years in which time I also began working towards my RBM development. I got offered the chance to take on a holding RBM role covering a Yorkshire area for what was the SPOTON brands. I started the role just as the company decided to split SPOTON into Suburban Pubs and High Street. I only had about 4 months under the SPOTON brand, but it was great insight into the role.

When the brand split, I moved onto an RBM role with Sizzing pubs covering Greater Manchester, Preston and Blackpool. I absolutely loved the role!! Whilst it was a little different to Browns (!) the teams were great and incredibly passionate about their pubs and communities – a genuine local feel! After about 18months, the RBM role in my old Browns district came up, and although I was sad to leave, I’d always loved the Browns brand and it felt like the right opportunity to go for. I took on the North Browns district running sites from Birmingham up to Edinburgh/Glasgow. At one point I was even running Milton Keynes and Cambridge all the way up to Edinburgh and Glasgow… dread to think how long I’ve spent on trains!! I was with Browns for 5 years whilst also working on my OM development. In January this year I was offered the chance to do an OM hold in Castle. Another superb brand, which allows me to combine my experience with both drink and food, whilst also offering me the chance to work across the north still, but also oversee some of the companies most iconic pubs in London.

How has your experience across a variety of the M&B brands supported your growth/career progression?

 I think this is the beauty of M&B. It is so diverse and there are always opportunities to take on new roles. I certainly feel branching out from just one brand is key. You can gain experience in different areas across the company, getting a feel for pubs, bars and restaurants and allowing you to continually develop your skill set. Learning how different parts of the company work and meeting the various support teams who work across the brands really helps you gain different insight and learn new ways of working.

How has M&B supported you in your career progression?

 I was clear when I joined M&B that I wanted to progress up to an Operations role. M&B, and the leadership teams I’ve worked for, have really helped get me there. From district, brand and divisional projects to personal development training, they have always helped support me towards reaching my goals.

What is your favourite thing about working in hospitality?

 Cliché answer, but the people! That’s the beauty about working across different brands. We have so many amazing people across the company who are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable and its great to work alongside them.

What would you say to someone considering a career at M&B?

 Do it! … There is a fantastic culture in M&B, you will be working with the best people and there are great opportunities to progress.

Where could a career with M&B take you?

If David's story has inspired you to find your next job with us, then what are you waiting for? We have a whole host of jobs that are yours for the taking. Check out our kitchen jobs, bar and waiting jobs or management jobs and take that one step closer to joining the M&B family.

 Where could a career with M&B take you?

Or, if you want to learn more about #LifeAtMAB, you can check out our latest M&B blogs.

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