Checklist for your perfect pub to run

So you’ve decided to you want to pursue your dream of running a pub! Or perhaps it’s time to take on a new one, having done it all before? Either way it’s now time to go pub hunting, and find the right pub for you!

No two pubs are the same, and as a potential pub landlord it helps to be clear from the start what type of pub is perfect for you.  This is the place where you will be working (and often living) for the next few years. It is a long-term commitment so you do need to make sure that it matches your needs.

We encourage all would-be landlords to visit a number of pubs to help identify the right opportunity for them. Sometimes this may involve visiting pubs that aren’t actually available, just to get an idea of what seems like a good fit.

In this post we share some 'must haves' and 'nice to haves' so you can narrow down your search for the perfect pub to run.

Know what you want already? Don’t miss out on a great pub, call us today on 01284 843 200.

Find Your Perfect Pub: What Should It Have?


Are you expecting to live on the premises?  If you are planning to sell your home in order to fund your new venture, then it is essential to make sure that the accommodation is suitable. How many bedrooms are required?  Where are the bedrooms situated? 

This is very important if you have children.  Pubs can be very noisy places. There will be car doors slamming and cars moving away from the car park late at night.  There may be music playing until late.  Children trying to do their homework or get to sleep ready for school next morning will need somewhere peaceful where they will not be disturbed by such noise.

Is there space in the rooms for all your furniture, or will you need to sell or store some?  How much space do you actually need?  Is there a private entrance to the living quarters? This can be extremely important especially if you have young children who should not be passing through the bar on a regular basis.  A separate entrance also gives you some privacy, which is important when it comes to maintaining family relationships.


No doubt your search will be confined to a particular region of the country. Often people want a pub in the area they already live in, or perhaps to enable them to move closer to other family members in a different region. What is your perfect location? Is it an urban area, rural village or in the suburbs?  Perhaps you prefer a road house with plenty of passing trade or an inner city pub?


If you have children, the quality of schools within the area must be checked out.  Take a look at the schools, arrange to visit them and see if they would suit your children – or even if there is space available for them.  Popular schools can quickly be oversubscribed and simply being close to a school is not enough to ensure that your child can be accommodated.  Schools do have limits as to the number of children for whom they can cater.  Explore alternatives and keep your options open.  

Commuting and traveling

It may be that your partner plans to continue working in their existing job.  It is essential to ensure that they can reach their workplace easily.  Will the commute be manageable?  How much longer does it add to their journey time? Is there public transport available when needed? It’s also worth considering how staff will be able to get to work, as this could impact on your ability to recruit reliable staff.

Trade Kitchen

A good, professional kitchen is essential if you are planning to serve meals of any kind. An ordinary domestic kitchen is not enough.  A pub kitchen serving food to the public will experience much greater usage and to be effective, professional level equipment is needed. Such equipment is designed to deliver high numbers of meals on a regular basis and is less likely to break down. It is also easier to keep clean and maintain high standards of health and safety.

The location of the various appliances and work surfaces should also be scrutinized.  A well-designed kitchen will incorporate a good workflow so that staff members are not crossing each other as they try to undertake different tasks.  An effective kitchen will benefit everyone – customers, staff, and pub landlord.

Private Garden

It’s a hot sunny day and time to sit back and relax with your family in the garden – but your only option is the beer garden.  This is not a very convenient option, particularly where children are concerned. Your children and family need somewhere to relax and play outside away from your pub guests.  They need privacy. This cannot be achieved by sharing a beer garden with countless strangers, and which has open access onto the car park. 

A private garden may not be a priority for you, but do consider whether you need a small amount a private outdoor space. Even a back yard with space for a seat or bench could give you somewhere to relax away from customers and staff.

Beer Garden

People visiting a pub enjoy sitting outside when the weather is good.  The presence of a beer garden is an instant attraction for many people, and is often the reason they choose to visit a particular pub.  A pretty beer garden encourages people to stay longer, have a meal and relax with a drink.  It can be useful as a venue for outdoor events and barbeques.  

Not surprisingly, beer gardens rate highly on the checklist of almost all pub landlords, especially if they trade in the country.  With longer opening hours, pub goers can often spend an afternoon in one location, and special events may attract visitors from far afield.

Also consider how a pub can cater for smokers. Whether you like it or not, some customers do want to smoke and a dedicated outdoor area is much more preferable to having smokers outside the pub on the street.

If this post has given you a better idea of what you’re looking for in the perfect pub, the next step is to get in touch with a brewery or PubCo to explore available opportunities.