pub manager
How to Become a Pub Manager
By: Sharmain Zain
Reading time: 3 min

Many of us enjoy spending time with friends and family within the walls of that great traditional establishment known as the British pub. It is possible to one day be managing the business side of this institution, but it’ll take a lot more than strong social skills (though these are essential) to succeed in this demanding job, requiring a wide range of other abilities. If you’re willing to put the time and effort in however, this can be one of the most rewarding careers available to you. Of course, before getting started you’ll need to know what you’re getting into, so here’s what to expect if you wish to pursue a career in pub management:

Job Basics

Assuming you start as an assistant pub manager, with a view to progress, you can expect a starting salary between £16,000-21,000 pa. Salaries for a pub manager or licensee then tend to range from £20,000 to £35,000 pa.

Working hours vary and are likely irregular (this certainly isn’t strictly 9-5) but you can expect to be very busy if/when you work your way up to Area manager, responsible for several pubs within a specific geographical area. In this role you can expect earnings upwards of £40,000 pa

Bear in mind, income figures can vary in this line of work and these are only intended as a guide, with actual figures likely dependent on your own performance and commitment to the role. Typically, you’ll be rewarded for the hard work you put in.

What’s involved in the day-to-day work of pub management?

Safe to say quite a lot, all of which we wouldn’t be able to cover here. Like with many other management roles, the intricacies of your daily tasks will only become clear with experience in the role. However, here are some general duties you can expect:

  • Ensuring high standards of customer service, to include not only serving refreshments but building relationships with regular customers
  • Provide pub safety regulations and security detail, ensuring these are kept to the necessary high standard
  • Organise/advertise entertainment such as live music events, which will likely provide a large source of the pub’s income
  • Undertake regular stock checks, placing orders and restocking when necessary
  • Regular maintenance such as cleaning and repairs
  • Managing staff, keeping them as updated and motivated as possible

What qualities should I have for pub management?

You’ll almost certainly need to be a ‘people person’, as this is a role in which you will be dealing with them a lot, whether that be your own staff, customers, safety standard officers, or any number of other social commitments. You should have literacy and numeracy skills, be comfortable with setting targets (as well as meeting them), and be capable of handling pressure. A decent understanding of relevant pub legislation and knowledge of served products will also be essential. Some of this can be gained as you go, but at least start with an interest in learning more.

Qualifications

No formal qualifications are required for entry into this profession, though a degree or certification in hospitality, business, management or similar can help boost your chances. In England and Wales, you must have an accredited licensing qualification to sell alcohol. You may be able to study for this during training for a management role, but working towards it beforehand can’t hurt, so this is also something to consider.

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