Why Pub Tenancies And Leases Are Perfect For The Start Up Generation

pub tenancy, pub to let, entrepreneurship, start up business
Written by: Pub Partners Team
Date added: Mon, 29/01/2018 - 10:00

The UK has always been a nation of entrepreneurs, of people keen to start and run their own businesses.  No matter what age or background, there is something about having your own business, working for yourself and taking control of your future. 

Not surprisingly, people of all ages are actively setting up new businesses, often utilising experience and skills gained in one sector to help them develop something new in a very different sphere of business.  The pub trade is no different, with many people taking on pub tenancy or leasing a pub having worked in very different jobs before.

Take the operator of the Hideout in Taunton as an example, Simon Braun is formerly an estate agent and had never run a pub before. Whereas Heidi Lane at the Crown & Anchor in Eastbourne was manager of a children’s home and was also new to the pub trade when she took on and transformed her pub.

Pub Operators Come From All Walks Of Life

Many skills are transferable across different industry sectors. Sales and marketing directors who are accustomed to selling a product or concept, know how to meet customer demand and develop healthy sales – which can be easily adapted to dealing with sales and marketing within a pub.  Head teachers and department heads in educational institutions acquire good people management skills and are great at troubleshooting, able to think on their feet and deal with unexpected problems on the spot. 

Anyone who has been involved in running a small business of any kind, from consultancy to retailers, through to freelancers and service providers, have a clear head start when it comes to setting up a new business. They know exactly what is involved, the type of commitment that will be necessary and the financial implications. Running a pub business is no different and taking on tenancy offers many advantages over setting up a new business by yourself.

It is not just people with years of experience who are opting to run their own business.  Entrepreneurship is growing at an ever-earlier age.  Recent research by Paribas indicates that many Millennials start their own businesses when aged around 27 years old, much earlier than previous generations.  When questioned, over 62% of Millennials were considering starting their own business.  They wanted to work for themselves, to own a business, employ others, grow and expand.

Entrepreneurs recognise that having their own business makes sense.  There are a lot of benefits.  You’re responsible for your own future and are no longer dependent on your employer’s plans.  You can choose where you want to live and work, and not fear having to move to the other end of the country just because your employer has moved your job, especially during mergers or takeovers. 

There is no longer any such thing as a job for life – if it ever existed.  Very few people stay with the same company for their entire working lives, progressing steadily up the corporate ladder.  Instead, people expect to change jobs frequently, often taking the skills and knowledge they have acquired into very different careers. 

Reducing The Risk Of Running A Business

Admittedly, running your own business is not risk free. You can make the wrong decisions and lose your capital; hit unforeseen trading problems or the economic climate changes making sales much harder. Starting a business using a franchise or pub tenancy model means that you can reduce many of those risks.

Why do franchises and pub tenancies reduce the risk?

  • Firstly, it involves a proven business model that is already operating successfully elsewhere.
  • Secondly, it gives you access to additional help and support as and when needed.

A pub tenancy is perfect for entrepreneurs.  Although you may be running a pub with a PubCo, you are not running an identikit business as you would do with a franchise.  You can make decisions for yourself and give your pub an identity of its own.  It may bear the name Greene King as the brewery company, but you have a lot of scope to make it individual, and different to other pubs in the area.

No two Greene King tenanted or leased pubs are ever the same.  And it is not just a matter of location – design, ambience, food offer, presentation, customer base, USP etc. are all unique to the pub and the pub operator’s vision.

A pub tenancy provides entrepreneurs with scope to grow, develop and run a unique business.  Unlike a managed pub, you can take ownership of the business and make it very much your own.  You may be part of a larger company, but it is up to you to make a success of your pub, and take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.

Working with Greene King, or other PubCos, also means that you have all the support of a large company, especially when it comes to business support. There is access to excellent training programmes, not just essential training and qualifications but also enhanced training that enables operators to take their pubs to the next level. Business Development Managers take an active role in advising and mentoring pub tenants to maximise the potential in their pub, helping them succeed – and often exceeding original expectations!  

An Opportunity To Create Your Own Business

The sheer breadth of opportunities facing an entrepreneur when taking over a pub is staggering.  There is just so much that can be done.  All you need is some imagination, hard work, and a willingness to think outside the box – all of which are key entrepreneurial qualities. 

The Hideout In Taunton has added a micro cinema with roll down screen, while James Morgan at the Antelope has developed a successful microbrewery.  The Bell in Norwich has an onsite gin distillery.  Andrew MacMillan (The Swan), Tom Kerridge (The Hand and Flowers) and Clive Price (the Bletchingley Arms) are just some of the many pub operators who have expanded from one pub to several, creating very individual and very profitable multi-site businesses. 

Other pub operators are also innovating; providing boutique Bed & Breakfast accommodation, running community services such as a mini shop, or extending their catering offer to street food, takeaway and delivery options. The opportunities are endless – all it needs is an idea and a determination to make it successful.

Whatever your ambition – there is likely to be a pub suitable for you. Bring your existing skills, experience, enthusiasm and ideas to the pub trade, and let Greene King help you develop a fantastic business!

Sign up for our email series designed for people considering or planning to take on a pub tenancy or lease, or get going straightaway by applying to run a pub here.