Public house manager: job description

Public house manager: job description

Public house managers are responsible for overseeing the running and profitability of pubs and for managing their employees.
Potential employees must be confident and reliable and have good interpersonal and organisational skills.

What does a pub manager do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Specific duties and the amount of customer and staff contact vary according to the size and type of pub: managers of larger establishments may not be greatly involved in the front-of-house work, whereas managers of smaller public houses often have frequent contact with both customers and employees.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • recruiting, training and supervising staff
  • managing budgets
  • maintaining statistical and financial records
  • planning and problem solving
  • promoting and marketing the business
  • ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation and licensing laws
  • serving customers
  • placing orders
  • stock-taking and re-stocking
  • handling administration and paperwork
  • organising and promoting social events such as quizzes, karaoke evenings, live music and live comedy
  • liaising with customers, employees, suppliers, licensing authorities, sales representatives and the police
  • marketing products
  • making improvements to the running of the business
  • setting targets and maximising profitability.

Typical employers of pub managers

  • Independent pub companies
  • Small local breweries
  • Regional brewers
  • National and multinational breweries

Some landlords may also be successful enough to set up shop as a free house (a pub that is owned independently of the breweries that supply it), though this requires particularly careful management.

Vacancies are advertised via the internet, by recruitment agencies, in newspapers and in publications such as The Caterer and The Morning Advertiser.

Several of the larger breweries operate accelerated graduate management schemes that combine vocational managerial experience and the opportunity to gain relevant examinations. Networking and speculative approaches to employers are advisable.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes to becoming a public house manager for both university graduates and school leavers.

A degree or HND in a subject such as business, marketing, management, hospitality management, or hotel and catering may be beneficial. A small number of universities offer specialist licensed retail management qualifications.

Retail, customer service, supervisory and bar work experience is advantageous.

To find out how to get into careers in hospitality via a school leaver route, visit the hospitality and travel section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for pub managers

  • confidence
  • reliability
  • resilience
  • excellent interpersonal skills
  • communication skills
  • leadership skills
  • organisational skills
  • IT skills.