We're building a new service – your feedback will help us to improve it.

Publican Pub landlord, licensee, manager of licensed premises

Publicans manage licensed premises like pubs and bars.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but you'll find it useful to have experience in customer service at a supervisory level, and some experience of bar work.

Some large pub chains run graduate management trainee schemes that take about a year to complete. You'll usually need relevant work experience and a degree or HND level qualification in an area like:

  • business
  • marketing
  • hotel and catering
  • hospitality management with licensed retail

To become a tenant or leaseholder, you'll need evidence that you have the experience and managerial ability to run a pub successfully. You'll also need to complete the BIIAB Level 2 Award for Personal Licence Holders.

It's possible for anybody with enough financial backing to buy a pub or bar.

As a manager of a pub or bar that sells food, you'll usually need a qualification in food safety. You can find out more from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

You'll also need to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

2. Skills required

You need:

  • leadership skills and the ability to manage staff
  • good planning and organisational skills
  • finance and maths skills for handling cash and book-keeping

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • organising deliveries
  • making sure the bar is stocked and well maintained
  • making sure customers are served quickly
  • running the bar in line with health, safety and legal regulations
  • recruiting, training and supervising bar staff and kitchen staff
  • stocktaking
  • handling wages, book-keeping and accounts
  • building good relationships with breweries, suppliers and customers
  • carrying out plans to maximise sales

You'll also be responsible for enforcing the law on the sale of alcohol on your premises. You'll need an age identification policy, which your staff must enforce.

You could employ a bar manager to carry out some of these duties.

Publicans or licensees are often employees of a pub chain or brewery. Leaseholders, tenants and free traders, on the other hand, are business people in their own right.

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 (Trainee or assistant licensee)

Experienced: £25,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 to £50,000

Income will vary depending on location, turnover and profits. Some breweries offer bonus schemes, free accommodation and living expenses.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You're likely to work long hours. Pubs and bars operate flexible opening hours, with some open up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Pubs can be very noisy and busy at key times of the day, and your work would also involve carrying crates and moving barrels at times.

You may be able to live above the premises rent-free.

6. Career path and progression

If you're employed by a chain or brewery, you could progress to becoming a regional manager.

You could become self-employed and expand your business by buying additional pubs or bars.

Related careers

You may be interested in:

Last updated: 13 September 2017