Browns Restaurant/Brasserie and Bar in Covent Garden

Business review: 

A while ago I was employed by Mitchells and Butlers to work in a chain of their Browns Restaurant in Covent Garden.

I was happy about getting the position. I was working in central London, Browns has an upmarket appearance and the staff were charismatic and well trained. 

After a couple of months it became apparent that this was the WORST job I have ever had.

Let me be clear, the staff (the waiters, kitchen staff and bar staff) are pleasant and exceptionally hard working people. However it is clear that a lot of them have lost motivation. There is a lot of staff drinking and stealing that goes on at Browns. At times employees will turn up to work drunk or get drunk throughout their shift which adversely affects customer service and is not great for M&B. It can lead to arguments between staff and the general feeling I got was that the staff were unhappy. This could be down to the ridiculously long hours that the staff work (at times I would work 13 hour shifts and be in at work early the next morning to start again). People with long shifts are not always given any break. There is little or no recognition of this hard work by any of the management team, and staff are regularly under paid. Staff who call in sick are made to feel inadequate. Staff who come in sick are made to stay.

Lets turn to the management. The GM leaves a lot to be desired. Rude, impatient and clueless about motivating staff. His only concern was profit and this was hammered in to the staff regularly. At staff meetings the staff were constantly told to "SELL SELL SELL" and "penetrate (?!) those customers!". No consideration was given to improving the quality of working conditions or morale. Anyone with half a clue about business success will agree with me that employee satisfaction is an important fator in ensuring good customer service. But this GM has no business savvy. All of the pressure to increase profit for M&B was directly put onto the staff who were constantly harrassed to improve performance. Money would regularly go missing from staff pay cheques, not to mention the mysteriously dissappearing service charge!

One Assistant Manager at Covent Garden used to work at Mayfair Browns. News travels fast in Browns, and it was soon communicated to me that the manager in question asked his bar staff in Mayfair to underpour customer drinks so that the stock was up and the staff could drink the surplus stock. This is the mindset among the managers at Browns. Rip off your staff, rip off your customers, rip off anyone you can for personal gain.

The things that I have seen and heard at Browns shocked me. The managers are so unprofessional and staff motivation is at an all time low. Bad news for business.


If you are thinking about working for M&B DON'T.

If you are a customer of Browns, reconsider.

If you are a shareholder for M&B, good luck.

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