Are You Looking For A New Challenge? Moving From Retail To The Pub Trade

retail, pub tenancy, start up business, run a pub
Written by: Pub Partners Team
Date added: Wed, 26/09/2018 - 10:00

Some of our most successful pub tenants are people who previously worked in retail. Whether they were store managers, regional managers, or retail sales consultants, they are now using their years of retail experience to run successful pub businesses.

In this post we explore the reasons why you might also want to move from retail management to the pub trade, and share the benefits of running your own pub.

Fed Up with Retail Management?

If you feel like you’ve exhausted your current career path and want a new challenge, what can you do? Typically, other people in this position explore three options:

  1. Use your expertise to move into another area of retail – such as moving into retail field management, visual merchandising, supply chain, buying or planning,
  2. Use your transferrable skills to move sectors –people, logistics, time and resource management skills are in demand in many different sectors, and customer service skills can also pave the way into a new role.
  3. Open your own retail outlet or buy a franchise – if you want to be your own boss and use your retail experience in your own business, opening your own independent shop or buying into a retail franchise could be an option.

Alternatively, if you like the idea of running your own business and having the autonomy to make your own decisions and create something special; you could look at a slightly different sector that needs your retail skills.

The pub tenancy model has parallels with many retail franchises in that it’s a more affordable and less risky way of starting your own business. In many cases you benefit from taking over an established business with a customer base, can trade on the brand reputation, and get business development support and often back office support too.

Of course, there are entry costs and rents to pay. But compared to starting up a retail outlet from scratch, these costs are generally much lower and crucially you’re not alone. Many pub companies like Greene King offer fantastic business support through their Business Development Managers, training courses, and supporting services.

What Makes a Pub Tenancy Attractive to Retail Managers?

While many retail franchises also offer similar levels of business support to their franchisees, what makes a pub tenancy with a company like Greene King stand out?

It could be because we encourage our pub tenants to create their own unique business, not an identical version of our other pubs across the country.  

Of course, if you have a tied agreement with a pub company you must sell their beer and, depending on whether it’s a full tie or partial tie, other drinks or products too. So there are some restrictions on what you can sell and how you can use the Greene King brand. However, we want our pub tenants to tailor their businesses to their personal ambitions and their customers’ needs, and therefore we don’t want all our pubs to look the same or offer exactly the same experience.

That means that pub tenants have the flexibility to develop their business in different directions. Perhaps you have a passion for live music and want your pub to be a renowned venue for bands, with the right site this is possible. Similarly, if sports are your thing, you could become the preferred pub for sports fans in your town or borough by focusing on screening sports events.

Food is another area that can help you differentiate your business and create something special. For example, if you’ve previously worked in food retail you might want to build on this experience by developing a unique food offer. We’ve got pub tenants doing everything from fine dining experiences to street food, if the site is suitable and you’ve got a vision and a plan, these things are all possible!

In summary, if you’re thinking of moving out of retail management and are interested in running your own business, consider whether a pub tenancy could offer you the challenge and benefits you’re looking for. To discuss in more detail please get in touch or for more information and inspiration, sign up for our email series below.

You may also like to read this article that explores those all important transferable skills – Why Retail Managers Make Great Pub Operators.