Running a Pub

Pubs For Sale, Buying A Pub, Selling A Pub, Leasehold Pubs, Freehold Pubs For Sale, Pub Training, Pub Auctions, Redundancy Retraining, Personal Licence, Licensed Trade Training, NCPLH, Food Hygiene Training, First Aid Training

Running a pub – Some Stats

Despite a fall in the number of pubs in recent months, running a pub is still a popular business whether you buy or lease - and it’s not surprising when you look at the size of the market. There are around 53,500 pubs in England and Wales (Wikipedia 03/10) and the more that close the more customers there are out there for you to attract to your business.

After household bills are sorted, visits to pubs and restaurants are still a high priority for most people. In fact around 4 million adults go to the pub for a drink twice a week and around 17 million say they visit pubs on a regular basis for more than just a drink. They are after food and thanks to all the cooking programmes; they’re after good quality food. We’ve noticed more and more blokes are discussing and sometimes arguing at the bar about the best way to make a sauce or fish pie.

Almost 29m people decide on which pub to visit for a drink by its location and convenience, with price promotions only influencing just under 4m pub goers.The pub market is in the midst of an identity crisis, fighting to find its place in the leisure market. A food offer can influence the pub choice of nearly 14m consumers and it’s up to you to attract them and we can help

Running a pub – What’s it about?

Pubs are currently the number one choice for eating out in the UK with nine out of ten pubs serving food. The business is worth billions. It’s not just the traditional steak and kidney pie either. You can now get French, Italian and even oriental cuisine in a traditional pub.

Pubs also provide an astonishing range of entertainment. Many host live music, stand-up comedy or quizzes. Others simply let customers amuse themselves with pool, darts, big-screen sports or even ten pin bowling.

On a wider scale, pubs in residential areas, whether in the town or country, often play an important role in the community. Many sports teams are based around the local pub. They are important local employers and sometimes provide other community services such as post offices, doctor’s surgeries or youth clubs.

We’ve run lots of different types of pubs, bars and restaurants with some success. One year we were awarded pub of the year award and another we were awarded management couple of the year award. Our success and awards were down to concentrating on the following:

People: The right customers need to be attracted and the wrong ones need to be rejected. Whilst running a pub you come into contact with hundreds of different types of people. Each interaction should be a positive one (keep your head).Your staff need to be trained and motivated.

Your suppliers should be managed with respect of ensuring you get the best deal on the products.Working with professional bodies.

Standards: Your business should be run to the highest standards of cleanliness and customer care. We can offer advice as well as documentation to help you in your endeavours.

Finance: Keeping a thorough eye on the finances can be the difference between staying open and being forced to close. Above we mentioned working with professional bodies. An example would be to find a good accountant. You have to work with these people and you are paying them to perform a duty on your behalf. Spend time finding someone you can spend time with developing your business. Consultancy Package.

Running a pub - who is it suited to?

Have you ever dreamed of escaping the rat race and heading for the quiet life to run a country pub? Or do think the lively scene of a friendly town pub is right up your street? If so, you’re not alone. Our career has taken us to both types of pub. Huge benefits that we found are:

  • You don’t have to travel to work in the morning rush
  • The business pays for all your bills.
  • You meet and work with some fantastic people.
  • With the right site you can make a good living.

I remember a younger customer of ours once proudly told me that the pub trade is a young man’s game!! Cheers mate! My response to that, like any retail business, IT’S NOT A GAME. There’s more to running a pub than chatting with the locals, taking food orders and pulling the odd pint. Before you invest your money there are some important considerations and choices to make.

Hosts (previously Landlords) are drawn from all walks of life and with the great variety of different pubs available means that there will be one to suit your tastes.

Your business is a reflection on your skills, personality, drive and determination. Forget the romantic notion of what running a pub is about. It’s a difficult job with long hours.

If you are running it with your partner, the routine may put an enormous strain on your relationship. Not all couples are suited to working together for 14-18 hours a day. We find it helps by having defined roles in the business and sitting down once a week discussing our departments. Some people in the business laugh at the idea of a husband and wife having a meeting. The ones that are laughing missed the day at school when the profitable business class was on.

We also got some fantastic advice when we first started. My wife would always take work home with her (upstairs) or issues she’d had during the day. This definitely ruins couples if allowed to carry on.

The advice is in two parts:-

Firstly: Mutually agree a set time for “talking shop” at home, after that change the subject.

Secondly: If the other half still insists “talking shop” – stand up and take all your clothes off. They’ll either be in fits of hysterics (cheers!!) or your days just got better! Bet you the discussion has stopped – well maybe for a couple of minutes, but your relationships on the right path.

It is also extremely important that you like dealing with people. “Licensees are a friend, counsellor, politician, employer, roll model, mentor, and confidante to their customers. Working with alcohol, they also need a strong personality to deal firmly with customers if they get out of order and to resist the temptation of “go on then just a half”.

Whilst running a pub a modern pub owner also have to be commercially aware. The pub is a retail outlet, selling their products to cover the costs. What’s left after tax is profit – Simple. Take a look at any shop on the high street. How do they commercially compete:-

  • They have a clean and prominent frontage (including signage).
  • The store is well lit and clean.
  • Products are laid out in view so customers can choose.
  • It’s sometimes possible to sample the products before you buy.
  • The staff are friendly and well trained (or should be).
  • The staff are wearing a clean uniform.
  • There is usually a hierarchy to escalate issues or ask specific product knowledge related questions.
  • Some chains even have the same plastic tree in the corner of each store.

Successful businesses spend alot of time, money and effort on training and marketing, you should too. You will manage a close knit team of staff, so you will have to keep abreast of employment law, management techniques and training. You will also have to keep a close eye on the finances.
We can help.

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