First of all, location is going to be a big deciding factor. You’ll need to ascertain if staying close to where you currently are is important if for example you may not be happy being more than an hour away from friends and family. This will narrow your search radius, but you’re more likely to know the area and you may feel more comfortable being close to home. If you’re in for a penny in for a pound, then you may have decided that part of the attraction of running a pub is relocating. What better way to quickly integrate yourselves into a new community than to run the local pub! This could be a great opportunity to move to a place you’ve always dreamed of living; perhaps a move south for a slightly milder and drier climate, or a move to the countryside. Starting a search by location is always a great way of narrowing a search. You can filter all of our pubs by regions, simply select the regional drop down filter on our Find a Pub page.
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to an area, you can begin to think about the type of pub that you’d like to run. Do you picture yourself in a rural setting welcoming in walkers, happy campers and local villagers, serving up warming comfort food? Or perhaps you’d want to be in a busy town centre, with occasional sports on the tv and a more varied guest mix.
You could opt for the best of both worlds, making the move to Surrey and running a pub in one of the many villages that have been descended upon following the mass exodus from London. The Barley Mow near Oxted is in a great village location for those that no longer need to live in the City, but still require good transport links for their occasional commutes back into London. Make sure you take time to really think about the type of pub that would suit you best; your pub will become part of your lifestyle so the location setting and the type of pub is very important.
On each of our pub vacancy pages, you’ll find information about the type of guest mix along with a wet/dry split. The wet/dry ratio details the revenue from sales of drinks versus food. What’s known as a ‘wet led’ pub means guests primarily visit to enjoy drinks, with little to no interest in food offerings. If food is a real passion of yours and your strong point, then space for diners and facilities for catering will be important. Even if a pub doesn’t offer food at the moment, it’s something you could begin to offer. One great example of an opportunity to really put your own stamp on a food offering is The Kings Arms in Shaftesbury, this is large pub in a prominent location, very close to the popular tourist attraction of Gold’s Hill.
Perhaps you love being around people all the time and you’ve always dreamed of running a guest house, some of our pubs offer guest accommodation so they could be perfect for you. A new addition to the Hall & Woodhouse family is a very unique and special opportunity, the Masons Arms. With a great mix of guest rooms, a holiday cottage, a shepherds hut and a campsite, this pub has huge opportunities.
The vast majority of pubs come with private accommodation and this is usually sizeable given that it would normally be above the pub. It’s worth checking if team accommodation is separate if that is going to be a deciding factor for you.
So to wrap up, the process of finding the right pub for you is worth thinking through very carefully. We’d recommend signing up to alerts to hear about new vacancies first as they don’t often hang around for long, with application windows sometimes being fairly short. You can do this by completing the ‘Stay Informed’ section on this page.
Be patient and if you have any questions about a pub and if it would be right for you, feel free to get in touch with us and we can tell you more.