Pubs and restaurants chain Mitchells & Butlers has signed a deal with Fujitsu to swap out its core infrastructure for a hosted pay-per-use service.

The infrastructure Fujitsu is providing for the company, which runs the Harvester and O'Niell's pub chains, will support Lan and Wan capabilities in 1,600 outlets.

The service will also replace an IBM datacentre offering by the end of March, according to M&B operations director Robin Young.

Young told CIO UK that the deal is part of an 18 month project, he initiated to bring the company's technology into the 21st Century. Prior to this, the M&B sites had been supported by a till network installed between 15 and 20 years ago.

One of the biggest impacts the network will have in the company's outlets is for customer to pay using wireless mobile handheld units at their tables.

The network supports Wifi in outlets for customers to use and Young hopes to be able to take advantage of mobile marketing initiatives, such as mobile vouchers, which can be redeemed on site.

"It says to our customers that we are a 21st Century company now," said Young. "It means the customer experience our staff work so hard to produce isn't affected by having to wait when it comes time for them to pay."

Young also hopes that the network will help the company make full use of workforce and stock management systems it procured from Red Prairy around two years ago.

The knock on effect of this software upgrade is that supplier partners, such as Brake Brothers are integrated with M&B's stock replenishment systems, automating what was previously a manual process.