Mitchells & Butlers Group

Mitchells & Butlers, a leading restaurant and pub company in the UK, required a technology partner that could automate Right to Work onboarding, improve data security, and ID document storage, whilst ensuring full compliance with both Home Office and GDPR legislation.

mitchells & butlers case study

“NorthRow enables our managers to focus on running the business rather than carrying out HR Right to Work checks. This increases productivity and efficiency to drive up our bottom line delivering compliance with Home Office Right to Work legislation.”

Neil Smart

Director of Employee Shared Services, Mitchells & Butlers


Sites implemented with NorthRow’s Right to Work application


Active employees across different sites


New employees are onboarded every year


Mitchells & Butlers are the UK’s leading restaurant and pub company, with over 1,700 businesses, 40k employees and annual sales close to £2 billion. So implementing a robust and reliable employee verification solution was integral to Mitchells & Butlers’ future success.

Like their competitors, Mitchells & Butlers are heavily reliant on overseas workers. This diversity provides a valuable recruitment pool. However, it also increases risks related to non-compliance with ‘right to work’ legislation. Non-compliance with the Immigration Act 2014 can incur civil penalties of up to £20k per illegal employee. In addition, with the UK leaving the EU, there is expected to be even greater regulatory scrutiny within the sector.

The Challenge

As many of the UK’s restaurant and pub brands, for example, All Bar One, Toby Carvery, and Harvester and Browns, are part of the Mitchells & Butlers group, protecting their reputation was critical.

They hire around 20k new employees every year, generally using front-line managers rather than HR professionals. This inevitably entails significant time spent processing and storing employee personal and legal documentation.

To ensure regulatory compliance, Mitchells & Butlers needed technology to automate Right to Work onboarding processes and improve data and ID document storage security to ensure full compliance with Home Office and GDPR legislation.

How NorthRow Helped

After a successful pitch, Mitchells & Butlers piloted NorthRow’s Right to Work Application in 23 All Bar One London pubs over three months, digitally transforming their onboarding, monitoring, and compliance from the previously manual processes.

Using the NorthRow App, managers were able to verify in minutes whether their employees or candidates had the Right to Work in the UK. The App authenticates a range of identity and legal documentation in real-time, simplifying an otherwise complex process whilst ensuring appropriate verifications are performed and delivering a ‘statutory excuse.

All document copies are stored in a highly secure cloud dashboard managed and accessed by Mitchells & Butlers head office team, in line with current GDPR rules. This enables the team to efficiently manage high volumes of employee identity information, with an entire audit trail to ensure compliance. They are also proactively alerted whenever documents are due to expire or need to be re-verified to ensure
continued compliance.

What Now?

Based on feedback from the pilot, NorthRow enhanced the features and functionality of the App further, leading to Mitchells & Butler’s continuing to roll out the solution across all of its brands nationally.

This has allowed the organisation’s managers to focus on the day-to-day running of the business rather than carrying out HR Right to Work checks. In turn, increasing productivity and efficiency to drive up their bottom line whilst delivering compliance with Home Office Right to Work legislation.

About NorthRow

NorthRow brings together market-leading compliance and verification technologies into a single, simple interface, accessible anywhere, any time. This empowers compliance officers to make faster decisions, reduce the need for siloed systems and onboard customers in seconds, not days. The additional time saved unlocks more time to focus on the single most important task – growing their business safely.

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