How to lease a pub

Many people want to start a pub business. The reality of buying one outright is that it costs a lot of money and you will be on your own. If you want a lower cost option with help and support then you should be looking into how to lease a pub or owning a tenancy, with a brewer such as Greene King.

People from all walks of life are successfully running pubs. With fresh ideas and a commitment to excellent customer services pubs of all descriptions are once again thriving.

If you are researching how to lease a pub or you are ready to talk about it then get in touch with Greene King today. We’ll send you a really helpful email series on why great pubs are thriving. You can also request a call back or attend one of our upcoming open days. So tell me...

1. Is it for me?

A pub business is commonly a lifestyle choice, where you run the pub, or a pure business driven goal, where you hire a general manager. Whatever your objective the success of well-run pubs will give you the lifestyle you desire.

For the lifestyle choice the motivation comes from wanting a change in your circumstances. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful but it’s more about being your own boss, avoiding the commute, finding better schools for your kids or starting a second career later in life. Really the reasons are endless so long as you have the passion and desire.

Of course there are business people and entrepreneurs who out there who are very drive by the opportunity of opening one or perhaps a chain of successful pubs and restaurants. If that is the case, then of course Greene King are ready to support those business ideas too.

2. What type of pub business?

Pubs of all types are once again thriving. Changing social habits around drinking coffee, take away food, working remotely all mean there are people out there that you could attract to your pub at all times of the day.

These are commonly the different types of pubs that are out there:

  1. Food led pubs
  2. Cask ale and beer enthusiasts
  3. Pubs with accommodation
  4. Night life and entertainment
  5. Family focused

The reality is that pubs are mixing the best bits of different types of pubs to suit their location and the type of pub they want to run. What you must do is focus on what you believe is the most enjoyable pub experience. In most great pubs you’ll find customers who love the atmosphere and offering. That doesn’t happen by accident and that is why it works.

3. Doing the sums and planning for business success

It is true that leasing a pub or taking a pub tenancy is a lower cost option than buying a pub. You are still going to need the right capital in place though. A proper business plan and the right guidance will ensure that you do not overstretch yourself financially.

There is so much to think about in a good pub business plan but that is why Greene King have the Pub Partners team. We will guide you through your business plan, cashflow, profit forecasting, even down to ordering stock, training staff and working out how much money you could make from selling coffee in the mornings! The right business plan at the start will help you achieve success.

You can see from our latest pubs list that entry costs can start from around £13,000 but this is all dependent on what type of pub you want, where it is and the expected turnover of the business. You can be sure though that your desires and available capital, will be matched to the best possible pub.

4. Choosing the perfect pub

As you begin looking for and choosing your perfect pub you will be working with the Business Development Manager in that area. This is a vital relationship for you. Helping you get all the information required and getting you the pub you want is part of their job.

Pubs come in all shapes and sizes. Like buying a house you want a pub that fits your lifestyle and the desires for your business. Some come with accommodation, some have beer gardens, some are in town, some are country pubs. The key is that you need to visit pubs and restaurants to get a clear idea of what you like and want in your business. You should also do this so you can check on your possible competitors.

For people with families, the quality of local schools will be important and if one partner continues their existing job then commuting and travel will be key.

You have to be thorough in your research and stay true to what you want. It may take a while for the perfect pub to come up but work with us. Attend a general interview, come to one of our open days and sign up for our latest pub alerts. All of this is available when you register your interest here.

5. Getting ready to open your pub

Again, just like a buying a house there is a lot that comes after choosing your pub. You have to get yourself ready to open and run the business. You need:

  • Personal licence
  • Complete the Greene King training courses
  • Have finances available

At this stage your business plan that was planned together with your Business Development Manager will kick into action. It is a busy time but exciting for anyone whose business is about to open. Your BDM will continue to work with you right up to and after your opening.

Since the introduction of the PubCode the amount of information that a new pub tenant receives is considerable. The BDM is your friend in helping manage this, getting you to focus on the important bits first and ensuring you feel fully informed and in control. Like I said, it should be an exciting time.

Once the doors open you will be able to draw on further support from Greene Kings 'First 100 Days' programme. Whether you have experience or not, this is invaluable. Your BDM will have helped many other pubs through their first 100 days and know just what to expect. Every great business person has a mentor and you can count on your Business Development Manager as being yours for as long as you want him or her to help.

It is time to take action

Whether you are ready to take a pub as soon as possible or still doing research it is very easy to have a basic chat with the Pub Partners team at Greene King.

We have an ebook, email series, YouTube videos and even better, regular Open Days across the country. Come and run through some of your ideas, hopes and ambitions about owning your own pub business.