Getting ready to meet the brewery for the first time

When you contact the Greene King Pub Partners team to start the process of finding a pub to let, you will probably be invited to a ‘general interview’ to talk to you about the pub business and your background.

While there are application forms to fill in, business plans to develop and other boxes to tick, our focus at Greene King is first on ensuring prospective tenant landlords really understand what’s involved in running a pub; and that it is the right business decision for them.

To do this we have to meet you. This is the only way we can be sure that you have all the information you need to decide a) whether a pub tenancy is for you, b) what you can offer the industry, and c) what the best course of action is to find you the right pub.

Not all breweries and pub companies follow the same format, but ours has been specifically developed to help you discover your inner landlord and successful business owner! The general interview is the starting point.

How To Prepare For Your General Interview

This post is designed to help you understand what the initial meeting is all about, get some questions together, do a little research in advance, and come to the interview with everything you need. It’s an opportunity to have a chat, not a formal, corporate-style job interview, but all the same it is an important part of building a working relationship with each other.

Who will you meet?

If you’re exploring running a pub in general and don’t have a specific pub in mind, you’ll meet one of our experienced Recruitment Managers such as Richard Cobb - people who have been in the industry running their own pubs for many years.

If you are interested in a specific pub your meeting will be with the Business Development Manager for that area who will naturally have more detailed knowledge of that particular pub and the vicinity.

How long will it take?

Generally, initial meetings can take up to two hours. We’ll meet you at a convenient location and grab a coffee or two. First off we will need to share some very specific information with you about buying a pub tenancy, your responsibilities and ours, and what steps you must take before letting a pub. This takes approximately 45 minutes (there’s quite a bit of information) and we highly recommend that you have pen and paper ready to take notes.

After this we can start discussing your experience and reasons for running a pub, answer specific questions, and generally explore your options.

What should you bring along?

Apart from a pen and paper you might also like to bring along a partially completed business plan. While it won’t be possible to complete in full until we start talking about specific pubs and provide you with figures to help develop your plan, it’s great starting point for exploring your business ideas and all the factors involved in running a pub.

Also bring along anyone else who will be involved in running the pub with you (but not staff!). They will be really important to the success of your business and therefore if they can be there too, that really helps. If it’s going to be a team effort with your partner or joint ownership with a friend or relative, where possible, we should all sit round the table together and discuss your future plans.

What questions will you be asked?

Actually, it’s more about what questions have you got for us? Obviously we will want to find out about you, but we think the general interview is also a really good opportunity for you to ‘ask the expert’ whatever you need to know. Our team have really excellent practical experience, either running their own pubs or working with successful landlords in others, and this knowledge is gold dust! We’re here to help you develop your ideas and pull together a strong, viable business plan that has every chance of turning into a successful business. So bring a list of questions along!

What if you haven’t started the business plan?

In the initial stages of exploring whether letting a pub is right for you, starting a business plan may seem a bit premature. However, it does help to identify the key things you need to think about when it comes to running a pub, as well as looking in detail at how you can make a specific pub a success.

I would recommend at least having a look at what’s involved in creating a business plan. It may help you think of questions you need to ask at the meeting, pinpoint areas that you need more information or support with, and also get a bit of inspiration and ideas for your pub business.

During your interview the Pub Partners team can also help you to flesh out your plan in more detail and tailor it to your needs and vision.

What will you get out of the general interview?

By the end of our meeting you should have a much better idea if you are ready to run a pub and progress with a pub tenancy. You should also have a clear idea of what’s involved and what steps you need to put in place to find a pub and start your business. Just as importantly, it should also have helped you to think about the kind of pub you want to run, where you want to be, and what you need out of the pub and the area it’s located in.

The meeting might throw up a few challenges, or identify things that you need to address before you can take on a pub; but that’s OK because we will be able to point you in the right direction to get the help or support you need.

Next Steps:

If you haven’t yet contacted us to start the ball rolling, that’s the first thing to do.