How Organised do You need to be to Run a Pub?
There are many different qualities great publicans share. Organisational skill is, without doubt, one of the most important ones. A successful pub is a well-oiled machine and, as the person running it, it’s down to the publican to keep everything running smoothly. Here are some of the different areas of pub management for which organisational skills are essential.
Pubs are there to deliver great drinks and food to their guests—above all else! Yes, creating great guest experiences is hugely important, but making sure you’re stocked with your customers’ favourite products is the cornerstone of those experiences. So, carrying out regular stock audits and keeping on top of your ordering system are vital aspects of keeping a pub running.
That’s why, here at Marston’s, we give our Pillar Partners comprehensive induction training and ongoing support to help them get organised and learn the value of effective stock management. A great order system will take into account current stock levels, popularity of certain products (determining volume needed), raising purchase orders and much more—all important stuff!
Maintaining your events calendar
A successful pub doesn’t just open its doors and expect people to turn up. It entices them with reasons not to miss out—in other words, a great events calendar.
Whether they’re new menu launches, one-off gastro events or more ambitious events such as craft fairs and live concerts, events keep regulars coming back for more, while also attracting new guests from diverse backgrounds into the pub.
It’s not just about making sure the calendar’s full either—it’s also about making sure it’s filled with quality events that play to your customers’ tastes. Not to mention developing a marketing calendar to promote those events across your social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.
Organising the team rota
Getting your workforce organised is a vital aspect of running your own pub. A pub that isn’t fully staffed is a pub that takes longer to serve its guests—and no customer wants to be left waiting. Setting an amount of time aside to plan the team rota each week, will help to ensure you’re easily able to meet customer demands.
Bear in mind that pub footfall fluctuates depending on things like time of year and certain local and national events too. So, staffing up during busy periods is also something to take into consideration. The most successful pubs are able to keep the food and drink flowing continually without delay, whatever the time of year—and that also has an impact on their bottom line: the more they sell, the better their profits.
Getting people paid
One of the secrets to building great team morale is gaining your people’s trust. The very best way to do that is to make sure you pay front- and back-of-house teams the right amount of money on the same day each week or month—and never varying from that routine, unless the calendar demands it (e.g., on bank holidays). That takes some organisation.
If your team can rely on you, they’ll be more likely to ensure you can rely on them. So, great publicans lead by example in that respect. They will set aside a certain amount of time to log people’s hours and ensure they are accurately processed through payroll. And, if mistakes are made, they’ll take accountability for them and do everything they can to get them set straight quickly.
Keeping your books up to date
Self-employed entrepreneurs of all kinds have bookkeeping commitments to meet, and this includes publicans. The UK tax year begins on 6th April and ends on the following 5th April and, when you run your own pub, you’ll need to file your accounts covering that period each and every year. Bookkeeping is one of the areas that busy self-employed professionals can easily let slip, so it’s important to organise yourself.
Marston’s Pillar Partners enjoy great training to help them understand their fiscal obligations and get their finances organised as part of their induction. However, the UK government website also offers useful information on filing self-assessment tax returns. Worth bearing in mind, if you’re thinking of investing in a pub of your own.
Looking for something else to read? See our article on Why Creativity is Essential to Run a Pub.