Owning a Pub. A Beginner’s Guide

So you’ve been nurturing this thought of becoming a pub owner from quite some time; you’ve read an infinite number of blogs about successful and unique pubs, you’ve frequented local establishments that are well regarded and loved by the crowd and you’ve even looked at the place where your new pub could be located. Now the only thing you need is a plan and commitment to start this journey to becoming a proud owner of a pub, and that brings us to a beginner’s guide to owning a pub.

Owning a Pub. A Beginner’s Guide
Owning a Pub. A Beginner’s Guide

Make a plan

I probably don’t need to tell you this but owning a pub will be a huge commitment. It’s not just your money (some of it might come in the form of a loan) but also the jobs of people who will work there  and the entertainment options of those who will be coming there which will be on the line if you open up a new establishment like that. Thus, you need to make sure you have a very clear vision before you even take the first steps. Consult people who have experience in owning or managing bars, pubs or restaurants, understand how to make an effective business plan, set short-term objectives and long-term goals and you’ll be well on your way.

Understand your financial capacity

Owning a pub is a great dream, but it will remain exactly that – a dream – unless you understand very well what kind of investment will be needed to achieve it. First, decide whether you want to own the place where the establishment will be located or you’re comfortable renting the space; it might not always be possible to purchase it, especially if you think that the first floor of an authentic house in the old town would be perfect for your pub. Another question you need to ask yourself immediately has to do with the size and the long term goal – if you’re looking to open up a small 40-seat local bar, the initial costs will be significantly smaller than if you are aiming for a huge one. Whatever the case is, you’ll probably need to borrow money from the bank; do it wisely and consult several people to make sure you’re making the right financial call.

Understand regulations

Naturally, pubs include selling alcohol and operating at late hours, so you need to make sure you have all the permissions in place before you even go asking for a loan. You don’t want your pub getting closed the first week just because you didn’t realize you couldn’t serve drinks to people outside as you need a separate license for that.

Create a vision

When you take care of all the financial and bureaucratic matters, it’s time to create a vision and an identity for your pub. There is nothing wrong with leaving the planning of the interior to designers if you have some financial capacity for that, but you need to make sure you know very well what you’re trying to achieve with that interior and what kind of clients that will cater towards.