Pub Managers! Ever Thought Of Running Your Own Pub?

pub manager, let a pub, pub tenancy
Written by: Pub Partners Team
Date added: Tue, 27/09/2016 - 10:00

Ever thought of running your own pub?  It is certainly a thought that crosses the mind of many an experienced pub manager.  If that is you, then perhaps now is the time to take action. Although it might seem like a big move, as an experienced pub manager you are very well placed to make a success of running a pub business.

The learning curve from being a pub manager to landlord is, in reality, very small.  Just think of the sheer amount of experience you have already gained during a career in the pub business.  Pub managers are familiar with the licensing laws, selling and customer relationships; as well as all the hands on tasks needed to run a pub successfully from changing kegs, ordering beer to hiring, training and supervising staff.  You’ll also have acquired a basic knowledge of day-to-day maintenance duties within a building, provision of food and marketing techniques.  The knowledge of how to run a pub is already present – all that is needed is to take the next step and become a business owner rather than an employee.

Advantages Of Running Your Own Pub

Have Your Got An Entrepreneurial Streak?

Running your own pub gives you much more freedom to operate a business as you want.  It is ideal for anyone with entrepreneurial skills who has been feeling constrained by being an employee. 

However good a pub manager you may be, you do have to work within the constraints set down by your boss.  It may be that ownership of a pub has changed and you no longer feel comfortable working for the new owners.  In a business where you are working closely with other people, it is very important for everyone to get on well. Feeling uncomfortable in those working relationships can affect your own satisfaction in doing your job.  If this sounds familiar, it could be the perfect time to consider your own future within the pub industry.

Operating styles

Then there is the question of operating styles.  As pub managers become more experienced, gaining confidence and wanting to try new business ideas, it can be hard to make those suggestions only to have them ignored by your employers.  A pub manager may see the need for changes to be made in order to make a pub more successful.  It may be a matter of changing menus, adding an improved food offer or undertaking some special promotions. Such issues can leave a pub manager feeling very frustrated.  If this is how you feel, frustration can be turned into a positive benefit by opting to open your own pub and take control into your own hands. This will allow you to operate the way you want, and make changes as you see fit.

Pub style

Another very good reason for moving on, and taking control of your working life, is the style of pub in which you are working.  Often the style of pub doesn’t quite suit your own personality. Perhaps you’re working in a pub aimed at people who want a relaxed, quiet drink, whereas you would prefer somewhere a bit more lively and upbeat. If you have a catering background, it may be that you would like to have a pub with a really good food offer which could attract people from further afield.  Or alternatively some pub managers might prefer to be closely involved in the community and run a local community pub.

Family business

Have you and a partner or relation ever thought about opening a family business? Pubs are ideal for this, as may also provide accommodation and a business opportunity at the same time.  As an experienced pub manager, the options become much easier given the sheer amount of knowledge that you possess.

Location, location, location

Location too can be a good reason for moving on.  You may be working in an urban area and would like to move to the countryside – or vice versa.  An urban pub will have a very different atmosphere and style of operating to a rural pub.  Changing from one location to another can provide a fascinating challenge for the right people since it involves a different type of marketing, customer base and operating style.

Family interests often result in a need to move to a different part of the country. Perhaps you or your partner would like to be closer to your family and therefore it could be an ideal time to trade up in your work skills and move from being a pub manager to a pub landlord.  Not only is it an excellent business opportunity, but it’s also a great way of getting quickly established in the local community, making friends and contacts in a new area. 

Pub Manager To Pub Landlord: Key Considerations

Before taking the final step and moving from the status of pub manager to pub landlord, discuss the situation carefully with any dependents. Remember that it will be a big change for partners and children. They will need to be fully on board and supportive of your decision if it is to be successful.  They will need reassurance on issues such as financial security, schools and local facilities.

Personal challenges

Remember too that it will provide personal challenges. You will become the face of the business.  You will be responsible for all aspects of running the pub and ultimately all decision making.  There may be times when you will need to put in extra hours especially at busy times, or during key operating periods such as Christmas or holiday time.   You will need to take control of all the money that passes through the business, keeping accounts, paying bills, ordering and making sure that the pub stays profitable.  You will have to be constantly looking for ways to improve your business and generate sales.

For an experienced pub manager, taking on a pub tenancy can be a very good career move.  It can provide you with the independence to progress your career and develop a business using your experience in the pub trade.  Instead of working hard for someone else, you’ll be working hard for yourself and family, and that it a very rewarding experience.

To find out what you need to do next to take on a pub tenancy, speak to our team.

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