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When it comes to running a pub, there’s a lot of information to take in. Partnering with a family brewery can be an accessible way to enter the pub industry and start taking steps towards running your own business.
Daniel Thwaites has a rich history of brewing beer and running exceptional pubs that has contributed to creating a business full of industry experts. With an ‘in it together’ attitude, potential tenants will have the unique advantage of a shared vision and a committed support team.
Consider these steps when you think about running a pub for the first time:
• Learn what running a pub involves and understand the industry
• Consider the Thwaites 5-year Landlord and Tenant Act – a protected tenancy agreement
• Evaluate and know the cost of running a pub
• Write a watertight business plan
• Complete PEAT training
• Get an alcohol license and insurance
• Get training – read our training blog for more in-depth information on Thwaites courses
• Market your business and use all the opportunities available
• Start running and promoting your new pub business
As a tenant, you need to wear many different hats. Being flexible allows you to deal with the demands of the lifestyle required to run a pub. A strong sense of customer service, financial acumen, and being able to adapt to ever-changing marketing trends is essential.
You’re at the forefront of the business, so regularly listening to what your customers want and also expect, is vital to maintaining growth. You’ll be able to adapt your offering and make it the best it can be. Your customers are your number one priority and the most crucial success factor for your business.
Read our top 5 questions that you should be asking to find out if running a pub is for you.
It’s always advisable to enter into a new pub with knowledge about location and customers. Scoping out your location is an excellent way to work out your trading style and potential offerings to make sure it fits with what consumers are looking for.
How do I find customers for my pub?
• Who’s my competition?
• What are my customers’ demographics?
• What are the opportunities for growth?
• What are the features of the local area?
• Are there any opportunities for local partnerships?
• What’s the footfall in the area?
With this information, you’ll have a thorough idea of opportunities for growth in the area and if the pub is a match for you.
There are numerous steps in the application process which will ensure you’re certain it’s the right decision for you. The first stage requires regular contact with the recruitment team, starting with a telephone interview. This is the time to showcase your business expertise and understanding of the pub you want to run.
The next stage is when you’ll review terms and conditions of the 5-year tied-tenancy (wet products have to be bought through Thwaites). You’ll also run through the summary of potential costs; vital information to discuss.
The final stage is when you’ll meet the area business manager of the property. This is where you can sell your business plan and expertise.
Your business plan is central to the entire process. Ideas and suggestions backed up with research about how you can make your business a success can be thoroughly outlined. It’s essential that every potential tenant completes one.
What should I include in my pub business plan?
• A clear, strategic plan
• Opportunities for business growth
• Any areas of weakness and how to improve them
• Information about your target market and awareness of competitors
• Investment opportunities
• Financial projections
Tackle your business plan at the earliest stage and well in advance of any potential meetings. Having a thoroughly completed plan will give you confidence about the project ahead.
You can find a free downloadable pub business plan template on our useful documents page.
A successful pub agreement requires a solid understanding of your financial capacity, as you’ll need to demonstrate how much you can invest. You’ll need sufficient funds to provide a bond, purchase stock, cover legal fees, receive training, cover administration fees and make your first drinks order.
You have to be compliant with the Licensing Act 2003 which provides provisions about the regulation of the sale and supply of alcohol, entertainment and late-night refreshment. It also details information about offences relating to alcohol. For tenants, there is a wide range of obligations to fulfil.
You need to acquire a personal licence to sell alcohol professionally, making you as the tenant, the designated premises supervisor. Make yourself aware of the premise license and the required authorisation that allows businesses to provide certain activities.
Legally, there is considerable responsibility across many areas, and you have to be compliant and insured. The two main insurances are public liability and employee liability, so be sure to have them and then think of the other areas where you might need cover. With a Thwaites agreement, buildings insurance is agreed in the contract.
Marketing is necessary for any business to grow, keep, and interact with a loyal consumer base with appealing messages and offers. When promoting your business, social media is the most present, up-to-date, and direct way to share information and build your brand with customers.
Working with Thwaites, you’ll have guidance on the best way to promote products, offers, events, and strategy.
For a first-time tenant, Thwaites provides a fantastic team of area business managers that are always available for support. With a personal and valued support network, there are opportunities for investment, continued training and invaluable advice. Regular engagement with tenants offers peace of mind to make the partnership successful.
With a family brewer, community and local pride are strong factors. Creating viability in a pub and working with long-term tenants are the goals. Take a look at our current vacancies or speak to our recruitment team to start your pub journey as part of the Daniel Thwaites family.
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