Running a Pub FAQs

If you ever need to know something, we’re always on hand to help. In the meantime, we’ve compiled a list of the most common things we’re asked about running a pub below. If you have any other questions, please call the team on 01284 843200.

You’ll need to complete the British Institute of Innkeepers online Pre-Entry Awareness Training, which provides you with an overview of the obligations placed on you when entering into a tenancy or lease agreement in the UK. You’ll need to hold a Personal Licence too. Call our training team to find out more on 01284 843055

Previous experience of running a pub will help you along but it’s not essential. Any experience of running your own business and managing accounts, profit and loss and stock control will also help too. However, it’s all about the right attitude and your personal attributes – you’ll bring your energy and commitment, along with a determination to succeed, pride and passion for hospitality, good people management skills and your business-focus. Running your own pub is a challenge, but with your determination alongside our support, will help you achieve your goals.

Yes we do. We want to make sure your business is a success, and therefore we believe that training and development of you and your team is crucial to this. We expect you to attend our Welcome Induction Programme, as it’s here that you’ll be introduced to Greene King’s ways of working and the support you can rely on in your partnership with us. We also offer a comprehensive range of ongoing training for you and your team. For more information, see here.

Usually a tenancy is for a shorter period of time with limited property repairing obligations and you can’t sell on the goodwill of the business. A lease is a much longer agreement with full property repairing obligations, and you have the ability to sell on the goodwill of the business when you leave.

Your agreement will tell you which products you have to buy from Greene King. This is called the ‘tie’, and the majority of our pubs are tied.

You’ll need to budget for costs such as a deposit, the fixtures and fittings of the pub, legal fees as well as broker and stocktaking fees to name a few. You may also need to consider Stamp Duty Land Tax, which your advisors can help with. Costs can vary depending on the type, size and location of the pub and the terms of the Agreement. The entry costs for our available pubs can be seen here.

If you have a tenancy agreement, your repairing liabilities are more limited than a lease agreement. A maintenance and service agreement will cover areas of statutory compliance including testing, repairs, servicing, and maintenance of major equipment. If you have a lease agreement, you’ll be responsible for all repairs and maintenance. Details of your repairing obligations will be provided in the Schedule 1 information we provide you.

Greene King insures all its pubs through a group block insurance policy, which is recharged to you depending on the size and style of the pub. This cover will include for property damage to our buildings and/or our fixtures & fittings, also loss of Greene King’s income through any insurable business interruption event.  You’ll be required to insure other areas of the business that you’re responsible for, including public and product liability, employee liability, fixtures and fittings and loss of income.

Our tenancy agreements include for break clauses which you can exercise at any time. If you have a lease, you’ll need to arrange to sell on the agreement. Breaking an agreement early can be a big decision, for more information see our Guide to Running a Pub (England/Wales) or our Guide to Running a Pub (Scotland).

Taking on a pub and becoming your own boss is not without risk. Being self-employed is very different to receiving a regular salary, but there’s the prospect of even greater reward. The style of pub and how you choose to run your business will affect your profit. It’s important that you enter the business with a realistic view of potential performance. Using the information we provide you, and your independent professional advice, will help you in the preparation of your business plan to ensure it’s realistic and sustainable.

This can vary according to individual applications, however if you’ve found the right Greene King pub, you can expect the process to take a minimum of 8 weeks. This will be subject to you receiving all the relevant information you need from us, obtaining your independent professional advice and preparing your business plan, and your availability to attend meetings with us. We know you’ll be excited about taking on your new pub business, however we’ll want to ensure you’re making the right decision and that your business plan is realistic and sustainable.

The Pubs Code is legislation in England and Wales that regulates the relationship between pub-owning businesses, operating over 500 tied pubs, and their tenants. It’s based on two core principles; fair and lawful dealing between the pub-owning business and their tenants; and, that a tenant should be no-worse off than a free-of-tie tenant. A Pubs Code Adjudicator oversees the enforcement of the Pubs Code, and Greene King employs a Code Compliance Officer to verify its compliance with the code. View more information here.