Looking into running a pub for the first time?


You can absolutely run a pub without any experience. 

Previous experience of working within the pub industry isn’t a prerequisite – whilst it’s ideal, it’s not a necessity. We review any applicant on their own merits. We have a great range of Business Partners from many walks of life, particularly since the pandemic as people seek a change in career.

One of the advantages of becoming a Hall & Woodhouse Business Partner is that whilst it’s your business, you’re fully supported by us. We offer comprehensive training and a wide range of support – from access to our support site with training modules and marketing materials, to your own Business Development Partner, you can get help and guidance from a variety of sources.

As with any job role, there are a set of core skills that are required. First and foremost, we look for people that have bags of determination and a passion to succeed and make people’s day. You’ll need to be adaptable; no two days are the same. Whilst that keeps running a pub very exciting, you’ll need to be prepared to manage finances, order stock, attract guests, train your staff and keep the legal side of things in order. Get ready to spin plates both literally and metaphorically!

Running a pub is definitely hard work, and it isn’t for everyone. Some of the key skills you’ll need to have are:

People skills: you’ll need to love your guests, even when you’re having a bad day. You’ll need to be socialable but also not be afraid to say ‘no’ when required.

Financial skills: Effective budgeting and financial planning are key to your success – balancing the books is crucial.

Cellar skills: You’ll also need to learn the workings of a cellar – to ensure everything is stored and connected as it should be.

Food skills and certificate: You’ll need a food hygiene certificate, which we can definitely help with, along with kitchen skills to help you prepare food in a manner that’s both compliant and looks and tastes great.

Marketing skills: Even the most established pub needs a push to keep new guests coming in through the doors. You’ll need to learn how to position your pub to the various guests, from regulars, to tourists, to groups, parties and so on.

Management skills: You can only function with a well-run team. You’ll need to learn the HR regulations and practises, in addition to how to motivate your team and get the best from them.

Organisational skills: Being one step ahead will make your experience, and your guests experience much more enjoyable. You’ll need to be constantly thinking about the next months, but also keep your eye on the day-to-day running of the business.

Having an entrepreneurial mindset, being versatile and happy to move with the times will be key skills to a thriving pub. Determination to make a business a success and being able to smile at guests even when you’re at your most tired is far more important than having worked within a pub before. If you’re willing to learn and can draw on your own personal experience and qualities, there’s no reason why you can’t be a very successful Business Partner.

What sort of training do we offer our business partners?


We offer all of our Business Partners and their team training that covers financial guidance, stock control, marketing and much more. Our help and advice will be offered to you throughout your partnership with us. We expect all of our Business Partners to complete the Hall & Woodhouse induction programme within the first 6 months of the start of your Business Partner Agreement.

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