General managers at Mitchells & Butlers, the 2,000-strong pub and restaurant operator, have had their salaries frozen until April 2011. The Morning Advertiser reports that the news has caused anger in the context of generous pay awards to new chairman John Lovering and a doubling of pay for other non-executive directors. Lovering’s remuneration – now paid entirely in shares – will rise from £200,000 to £350,000. General managers received a letter that states: “Current trading figures indicate that we are continuing to outperform our competitors and take market share. However, despite this market outperformance maintaining and growing profit in the current environment poses a major challenge for the business. “The outlook for the economy remains uncertain with unemployment expected to continue to grow through the year, and it is not clear if VAT will be increased further and the potential impact this may have on the business. “Against this background the decision has been taken to apply a pay freeze in April. This means your next pay review will be in April 2011. I hope you will understand the reasons behind this difficult decision.” An M&B manager told the Morning Advertiser: “The new board has decided not to give us a pay rise this year. We are the only ones who actually take any money physically — everybody else sits behind a desk taking big pay rises.”