A guide to running a successful pub

BusinessA guide to running a successful pub

If you’re contemplating setting up your own pub or you’ve recently opened up your doors, you might be wondering what the secret to a successful pub really is. 

Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, there are a number of things you can do to give your pub the best chance of success. To help fellow pub owners on the road to success, we explore some tips and tricks below.

  1. Keep your pub stocked up 

With the number of pubs in the UK rapidly declining, it’s important to give customers a reason to keep coming back. One way of ensuring your customers are happy is making sure you’ve got a well-stocked-up bar. 

As well as keeping your bar fridge stocked with all the essential refreshments (including beer, wine and spirits), a good pub takes stock of far more than just alcoholic beverages. 

As well as keeping tabs on how much of each spirit you sell, keep stocked up all the relevant bar paraphernalia. For example, you’ll want to make sure you have enough bar napkins, straws, stirrers, glassware, cocktail shakers and garnishes. After all, who wants a gin and tonic without the lime? 

  1. Know your customers 

If you’d like to experience success, you’ll need to learn what makes customers tick. As well as building relationships with locals and offering a friendly atmosphere, you’ll need to know what customers like. And importantly, what they don’t! 

By getting to know your customers, you can provide a service that keeps people coming back. To really establish a local customer base, you should try to understand anything that your bar is missing. Whether that’s a weekly pub quiz, excellent food or a friendlier atmosphere, by listening to your customers, you’ll give yourself the best chance of success. 

  1. Pub insurance 

Although nobody likes to think of their beloved pub being damaged or stolen from, unfortunately, accidents do happen. To protect yourself and your business, you’ll need pub insurance which could help cover you should anything unforeseen happen. 

Without the necessary protection in place, if an incident occurs, you could be liable to pay costs or compensation. This alone is enough to send most pubs under. 

By having the right pub insurance, you’ll ensure you don’t have to pay out of your own pocket if things go awry. 

  1. Train your employees 

To make your pub a success, you’ll need to train your staff to be knowledgeable and welcoming. Having the right staff could well be make or break for a modern pub! 

Having a knowledgeable team reaches far beyond simply hiring the right people. Once you’ve hired your employees, you’ll need to train them – and thoroughly! 

As well as being able to pour an excellent pint (which is a given!), your staff will need to be given a crash course in keeping customers happy. Some key things to teach include:

  • Making customers feel welcome
  • How to deal with complaints 
  • How to be efficient, even if short staffed

You should also ensure employees are familiar with the entire menu and drinks collection. For example, bar staff should be well-versed in the different wines, cocktails and spirits on offer. 

  1. Create a successful menu 

With the cost-of-living crisis squeezing people’s budgets, families and couples are choosing to stay at home and cook. To be successful, you’ll need a stellar pub menu that entices people back. An average menu just isn’t enough anymore!

When it comes to pub grub, always go for quality over quantity. By creating a smaller menu with carefully curated dishes, you can ensure you are churning out high-quality plates of food, packed with flavour. 

Final thoughts…

Although running a pub is exciting, it’s also daunting. With so many aspects to consider, it can sometimes feel overwhelming trying to make your pub a success. However, the good news is that by keeping your bar stocked up, knowing your customers, training your staff and getting robust pub insurance, you too can make your pub a success. 

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