Diversity is the name of the game in the pubs and bars sector where exciting new concepts constantly come on stream. Wine bars, theme bars, ultra-cool bars high on interior design all have established themselves as places to be and be seen alongside the traditional pub and the now well-established gastropub with its focus on fine food.
Diversity is the name of the game in the pubs and bars sector where exciting new concepts constantly come on stream. The traditional pub taking pride in its cask beer now stands in the market place with the gastropub where fine dining in relaxed surroundings has brought in a new breed of pub devotee. Wine bars, theme bars, ultra-cool bars high on interior design all have established themselves as places to be and be seen with cocktails being the increasingly popular drink of choice.
There are over 52,000 pubs, bars and nightclubs in the UK – very much a part of our social scene. Pubs alone employ around 600,000 people so it’s a big source of jobs – chefs, waiters, bar staff, supervisors and managers. Gone are the days when the pub sector was dominated by large brewing companies. Under this ownership, there are ‘managed’ houses where the pub company or brewery employs salaried staff and ‘tenanted/leased’ pubs where the pub company or brewery receives rent from the licensee who runs the pub as their own business. Now 80% of pubs are ‘free houses’, owned and managed by the licensee.
Working in pubs is fast-paced, fun and ever-changing – no two days are ever the same. If you thought it was a job for the short term with no career prospects, think again! It’s not unusual to see young managers on the pub and bar scene. Promotion is rapid for those with talent and an eye for keeping the customers happy so running your own pub by your early twenties is no pipe dream. As a manager, you could be working behind the bar one minute, purchasing stock, running promotions, doing the accounts, hiring, training and supervising your staff and, of course, looking after your customers – so a flexible, can-do attitude is a must.
What Do Employers Want?
The focus is on the customer in a very competitive market place. Exceeding customer expectations puts you and your pub or bar in a great commercial place. If ownership is with a large company, investment in your training will be a given – be that formal qualifications or company programmes. If you are a people person who thrives on team work, are diplomatic and patient, have some business savvy, can think on your feet and are prepared to go the extra mile, the pub and bar sector could be your route to career success.