Starting a Pub Business? Here’s What You Should Do

Thursday, August 25, 2016, AM | Leave Comment

Many people consider running a pub as their dream job. “You sit all day behind the bar, meet and hang with different people, exchange stories while pouring them their favorite drinks. And you get paid for that!”

However, those with some experience of working in a pub will tell you that things are not as great as one might think.

If you’re considering opening your own pub, don’t run before you walk. It would be wise of you to apply for a pub manager job in order to get to know the business.

On the other hand, it is less financially risky than starting your own restaurant.

Here is some valuable information on what it takes to start and run a pub business.

Starting a Pub Business3

  • Financing

    The cheapest option for opening a pub will be to take on the tenancy of a bar where the company or brewery is responsible for maintenance and repairs in the building.

    A more expensive option would be a leasehold pub, while the most expensive option (as the business is truly yours and you own it outright) is a freehold pub.

    Writing a business plan is necessary in order to raise finance to buy the freehold or leasehold.

    Major banks don’t lend that much, even though they see leasehold and freehold pubs as a good lending proposition.

    For leasehold, the buyer usually contributes 50% of the price, and the contribution for freehold purchases is at least 30% of the price.

  • Location

    The best location for your pub varies on the type of pub you plan to open.

    If your choice is to open a tenancy pub, than the brewery decides upon the best position for the pub.

    When you’re opening your own place, it’s important for it to fit with the lifestyle you lead (whether you0re a country-walks or an inner-city person).

    Also, do some market research on the population around the pub. It is necessary if you plan to run a food-led pub, so to know whether it can sustain your plans.

    Get the demographics of the area from a local estate agent.

  • Registration & Licenses

    To set up a legal business entity, you need to register the name of your pub with the county clerk.

    Also, limit yourself from personal liability (in case any customers decide to file lawsuits against you) by filling articles of organization or articles of incorporation with your state to set up a limited liability company.

    Purchase an insurance policy as well as property protection insurance to protect your equipment and building.

    Obtain necessary health department permits and liquor license from your local government. These licenses are needed before you start serving food or alcohol. You may also need to get a license to play music in public.

  • Hire Staff

    You can’t work without help, so hiring other employees that will help you run it is necessary. What you need is wait staff, cooks, and bartenders.

    You are obligated to register them with the IRS and get worker’s compensation insurance.

    Also, you may be required to have individual liquor and food handler’s permits.

  • Equip the Pub

    The pub should be equipped with the necessary elements to serve the customers.

    You will need glasses, plates, silverware, a draft system, a sound system, and furniture which will include a bar, new bar stools, tables and chairs.

    You will also need various appliances for cleaning dishes and preparing the food for the pub. Make sure your pub also meets the appropriate standards regarding food hygiene.

  • Marketing

    If the previous owner ran a pub that was completely different in style or had to close for a period to refurbish, you should think seriously about creating good marketing strategies for your pub.

    Join local chambers of commerce or business associations. Get your pub featured in the local newspaper, think of promotional offers (happy hours, 2-for-ones, and other incentives to bring in new visitors).

    Create a website and launch profiles or pages on social media where you will showcase events, special evenings, menus and themes.

After you get all the paperwork done, have your pub equipped and refurbished, and with an inviting program – start welcoming the first guests.

This job may require you to give up a lot of your free time, but if you’re the kind of person that enjoys this kind of socializing and work, give your best to make your customers feel good and welcomed.

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