How to work for yourself and run a pub

How To Work For Yourself And Run A Pub

Many people fantasise about quitting their 9-5 jobs and running their own pub business and it’s easy to see why. Being your own boss, meeting new friends and creating a warm, inviting meeting place in the heart of the local community are just some of the reasons this dream is so tempting.

However, deciding to take the next step can feel like a leap in the dark. You should think about the decision from every angle; weighing up the advantages and disadvantages to ensure this is the right path for you.

Pub tenancies are recognised as a cost-effective route into the pub sector and are a preferred entry road for newcomers to the industry. As a tenant, you won't own the pub (instead you will rent the pub from your landlord) but you will assume the right to occupy the pub for an agreed period.

We also offer franchise agreements which provide a 'ready to go' solution and a lower exposure to risk.

Let's take an unvarnished look at some of the considerations of taking on a pub with Greene King Pub Partners.

Is There A Long-Term Commitment?

Tenancy agreements are usually short-term, lasting around five years, with the option to extend beyond this time if both parties agree. This arrangement offers the freedom to develop your skills, while remaining within the framework of an established and respected business.

The term of our franchise agreement is five years. Franchisees also benefit from an automatic right of renewal for a further five-year period. After the first ten years, the Franchisee's automatic right to renew is removed.

Can I Expand My Skill Set?

Taking on a pub tenancy will give you first-hand experience of running your own business. You will be fully responsible for marketing, sales, administration and profitability, in addition to the day-to-running of the business.

What Are The Start-Up Costs?

Any new business requires financial investment, but the great thing about taking on a pub tenancy is that the start-up costs are much lower than you might think. Depending on the pub tenancy you choose, the start-up costs are typically upwards of £20,000 for a five year agreement.

A franchise agreement, which normally entails ingoing costs of between £3k and £5k, is an excellent option for individuals with experience in pub management who are looking for a lower entry cost.

What Are The Opportunities To Generate Profit?

One of the key motivations to work for yourself is to be financially rewarded for your efforts. Successful pub owners can make a good living while also diversifying their revenue streams by offering rooms for B&B, hosting events, providing catering services for local events and even introducing takeaway and delivery services.

What Training And Support Is Available?

Greene King Pub Partners enjoys an outstanding track record when it comes to training and offers an array of valuable support and resources to you and your team. This training can be of long-term benefit to your future prospects and covers all aspects of pub management. Additionally, our dedicated Business Development Manager (BDM) is committed to offering the level of assistance that suits your preferences, ensuring you receive as much or as little support as you need.

Will I Pay Rent?

As a tenant, you will have the responsibility of covering the monthly rent for the premises. While it’s worth noting that this amount may undergo periodic adjustments throughout your tenancy, we will provide advance notice in such cases. You will also pay a maintenance and service charge.

Franchisees do not pay any rent and will only pay staffing costs, insurances, TV licence and council tax for their own accommodation.

Do I Need To Pay A Security Deposit?

When you take on a tenancy, you will need to pay a security deposit. This practice serves to provide financial assurances for both the tenant and Greene King -  similar to those involved when renting a house or flat. If the security deposit remains untouched by the end of your tenancy period, it is returned in full. Top of Form

Can I Sell My Tenancy During My Commitment Period?

When taking on a pub tenancy, you enter a legal commitment for a specified duration. During this period, you will not be permitted to sell your tenancy or pass it on to another party. A franchise agreement is also taken for a fixed term but is assignable; meaning you can sell it on to an agreed party.

However, we understand that life isn’t always straightforward, and both our tenancy and franchise agreements do give you the right to terminate your agreement, subject to an agreed notice period and possible break fees. This would be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Will I Enter Into A Tied Agreement?

Pub tenancies are typically full ties, however depending on the nature of your business, a part of the tie may be relinquished. For example, a pub serving a gastro style menu may not be tied for wines and spirits but a wet led community pub might typically be fully tied. It is worth noting that with a full tie you will pay less rent and with a partial tie, your rent will be higher.

Although you will need to purchase tied products from Greene King, you will still have access to a wide range of products from various suppliers. This means you will not have to limit your beer selection and can access locally brewed beers via the Society of Independent Brewers for example.

With our tenancy agreements, we do not tie for food and you are free to purchase your food produce from your chosen supplier.

To Summarise

Overall, choosing a pub tenancy with Greene King Pub Partners provides you with the added benefit of partnering with a successful brewery and business development team who will guide and support you in your goal of creating a thriving pub business.

If you are looking for a ‘ready to go’ solution, a franchise agreement could be a better option for you. For more information on our franchise agreements visit our franchise agreements page.

If you would like more information on the costs involved with running your own pub, check out our How To Calculate The Costs Of Running A Pub blog.

How Do I Take The Next Step?

Why not watch our webinars for more information on running a pub with us?

Alternatively get in touch today on 01284 843200 or email