The Pros And Cons Of Being A Pub Landlord
The tasks and chores that a landlord must complete in order to enjoy an extremely rewarding lifestyle at the heart of the local community.
Have you ever dreamed of running your own local pub? Many who have spent some time sat on the other side of the bar have watched the work of the landlord and decided that being a publican looks quite appealing. You get to escape the 9-5 slog full of commutes and office politics in favour of running your own business and being your own boss.
However, any landlord will tell you it’s not quite that easy – and it is certainly not as easy as Al Murray makes out! Incredibly long and busy days which make up a 70-80 hour work-week mean that this job is not for the faint-hearted. There are a lot of tasks to be done before a landlord gets to kick back and watch that Champions League game with a pint in hand. A landlord wakes early and tackles a number of chores before the pub even opens.
There is a lot of paperwork involved in running a pub too. You need to ensure that you have the correct licences, certificates, if you plan to serve food. Also, you need to be legally and financially covered, so take a look at Broker Power’s pub insurance page to find out how to get cover in place before you open your doors to the public.
Whether a landlord takes part in any aspects of pub cleaning or not is a personal decision based on finances. Often it is possible to hire in professional cleaning for the premises as well as the equipment, but if you are a start-up then this will take money out of your profits.
An essential skill in managing your own pub is knowing the correct balance of stock at all times. You need to make sure that the bar is stocked to a minimum level to ensure that your customers remain satisfied yet you don’t waste your cash flow by having an overstocking issue. Delivery times will also need to be factored into your stock management.
Luckily there are plenty of programs to assist with this chore including an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system which provides insights into your sales figures and can assist you in predicting future stock requirements.
It is not enough for you to be an excellent and popular landlord, you also need to be surrounded by a team of hardworking bar staff who project the correct image for your pub. Your team need to be sociable and chatty with customers whilst being efficient in bar operations. Invest in training for your staff to make sure that they are your strongest asset and are able to deliver an excellent customer experience.
Get it right and you’ll have a reliable management team who you can depend on to run the pub whilst you achieve a perfect work-life balance. Get it wrong and you might end up with staff who either offend customers or call in sick at the last minute and leave you to cancel your own night off as a result.
A pub needs a compelling marketing strategy to draw punters in through the doors. Particularly when there is a change of landlord, there is an excellent opportunity to make your mark and show locals the type of pub that you’re going to be. Theme nights, fresh menus, a new beer garden or promotions are the types of things that customers will want to hear about. Landlords must learn how to use social media and email lists to their advantage.
Being a landlord is certainly hard work, but the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of the experience. Great landlords can enjoy an incredibly rewarding and sociable career at the heart of the local community which involves chatting to friends each night and soaking up the great British pub atmosphere – is there anything better?
Nick Watson is the Chief Operating Officer of Broker Power, which provides pub insurance to UK public houses and bars.