Many people dream of giving up the nine-to-five routine and running their own pub. The idea of being the focus of the community and acting as host for relaxed evenings, serving good food and ale to local patrons, can be a long-cherished ambition. But the reality is very different from the dream. Running a pub can be very hard work, but also very satisfying.
Long working hours is the first reality that potential landlords have to confront. Running a pub demands early starts to receive deliveries, organisation of time, good staff management all day, late service extending until 11pm, and finally stock-taking, book-keeping and cleaning until midnight. You should seriously consider whether you have the stamina to keep up with this lifestyle seven days a week before committing to buying a pub.
What Sort of Pub?
The next question is whether to consider leasehold, freehold, or tenancy. Choosing a pub can be great fun – different pubs in different areas can have vastly different characteristics. Urban pubs have to compete with supermarket drink prices, but can prove to be a very vibrant and stimulating environment. Rural pubs offer a smaller network of customers who can be very loyal, but they are vulnerable to diminishing returns unless passing trade from tourists can be secured.