Running a pub is a dream job for many people; and running a pub in the country is especially sought after by many. The way of life in a country town or village is much slower-paced than in big cities and the local pub forms the heart of the community. I won’t be going into the financial aspects of setting up a country pub, instead this post is designed to help you set up the pub you’ve already bought or leased in order to make it a success:
- Refurbishment – Make sure you only have work done which is absolutely necessary; for example do you need entirely new bathroom suites installing, or do the existing ones just need a good clean, new toilet seats, and a lick of paint? You may not need new carpets, if they’re still in fairly good condition just get them professionally steam-cleaned to freshen them. It’s also a good idea to keep the decor in fitting with the feel of the area and the building itself; a stone pub with a thatched roof will look strange with overly-modern furniture and accessories.
- Food – If you plan on serving food from your pub yourself and all relevant staff will require Food Safety training from an authorised body. You’ll also need to pay some attention to the kitchen. The basic essentials that a pub kitchen requires are:
- Fridges and freezers for daily use and storage
- Deep-fat fryer,
- Multi-function oven
- Several microwaves
Kitchen Ventilation Systems are also vital for keeping the kitchen running well and in accordance with Health and Safety legislation as they remove the heat, grease and steam generated in cooking. They also extract the carbon monoxide, which is produced by gas appliances, from the air making it safe to breath.
- Licenses – The law changed in 2005, it is no longer the premises that are licensed to sell alcohol but rather a nominated licensee. This is usually the owner of the pub, and they are responsible for ensuring that all members of their staff that sell alcohol are aware of the current legislation and act accordingly. If you plan on playing any form of music in your pub you’ll also need to obtain two music licenses; one from the Performing Right Society, and one from Phonographic Performance. If caught playing music without the relevant music licenses you’ll be liable for a fine.
- Insurance – Not exactly the most fun part of setting up a country pub, but essential nevertheless. If you own the pub you’ll need buildings insurance, as opposed to tenants leasing the pub from the brewery as the brewery are responsible for the building. You’ll also need contents insurance, fire insurance, and public and employer liability insurances.
- Marketing – If you’re lucky you may have some existing trade. But if you’ve had to close the pub for a while or re-opened it with a different style than the previous owner then you’ll need a good marketing campaign. Network both locally within the community and online by having a new website built and optimised, as well as using social media to connect with your existing and future patrons.