Reflections of a pub landlord: past, present and future

After 48 years in the pub trade, Tom Kilroy – AKA The Pub Landlord Advisor – has called time on a distinguished career.

With his wife Mary, Tom has run successful pubs and bars spanning the UK and Ireland. He started his pub career in 1968 when he managed The Dell a pub built by his father in his hometown of Athlone.

Since then Tom and Mary have run sports pubs, community pubs and even floating pubs, which have all guaranteed a warm welcome to visitors.

In this special blog post, Tom reflects on his time in the industry and looks at:

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Is improving staff performance the new marketing tool for pubs?

staff performance irish pubA high standard of customer service was once an important part of running a pub business.

Happy customers would regale friends and family about their new favourite pub and word-of-mouth would work its magic.

But it’s even more vital now!

It’s not simply word-of-mouth; it’s ‘world-of-mouth’. People share their pub-going experiences across social media and on popular review sites like TripAdvisor. And it’s all there: the good, the bad and the ugly.

In this guest post, the pub growth specialist, Lester Pyatt, explains why staff performance can be the difference between good and bad publicity and offers tips on how to boost staff performance. Continue reading →

How to find a chef… for free!

find a chef greenIt’s a bugbear of many publicans, hoteliers and restaurant owners. How do you find a chef who is reliable, level-headed and good at their job?

Morning Advertiser recently reported how the UK catering industry is suffering from a chef shortage.

To make matters more challenging, many pubs have a miniscule – or non-existent – recruitment budget.

But don’t despair! There are a range of effective options to recruit a chef free-of-charge.

In this article, I’ll show you:

  1. How to make the most of word-of-mouth and personal contacts
  2. How to advertise on social media and your website
  3. The 6 best free job boards for finding a chef

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The role of pub stocktakers: it’s more than just counting kegs

pub stocktakers kegsThe basic function of a pub stocktaker is to compare the amount of stock used up with how much money has gone through the till.

Is there a shortfall? Is stock being wasted? Or, even worse, stolen?

David Jones, chairman of Association of Licensed Trade Accountants (ALTA) explains the wider role played by pub stocktakers and how it helps with running a successful pub business:

As a publican, you are dealing with three of the most attractive commodities known to man: cash, food and alcohol. There isn’t an experienced licensed retailer that hasn’t (at some point in their career) experienced dishonesty in one form or another, so employing a stock taker is a ‘must do’. Continue reading →

These 15 leadership tips will improve your people management skills today

people managementManaging staff is one of the toughest aspects of running a pub.

No doubt you’ll employ many casual workers whose careers – and sometimes attention spans! – lie elsewhere.

Yet, with the right people management skills they can still be inspired to perform their job with pride, purpose and skill.

Whether you want to fire up the motivation levels of your staff, discuss performance issues more effectively, improve your body language, or become more assertive… you’ll find solutions here.

And the best thing? You can action them all today. Continue reading →

What is good pub management? A bartender’s perspective…

Pub management 1In this special feature, guest contributor and former bartender, Charlotte Newman, reveals – from first-hand experience – how pubs can gain the loyalty of staff.

The way you run a pub can have a huge effect on the level of job satisfaction experienced by staff, their loyalty to the business, and their sense of morale in the workplace.

I have seven years’ experience of working behind the bar in various Brighton pubs, and have developed a good idea of what contributes to a great workplace atmosphere.

This is my bartender’s perspective…

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Pub trade associations: who’s who and what they do

Question markBII, SLTA, ALMR… with so many initials flying around it can all get a little confusing for new publicans. They’re all there to help, but what do they do?

Some associations help to develop your pub business, others promote your beer handling expertise, and some are just there for support when times are tough.

To discover who’s who, here’s a handy A-Z overview of the different pub trade bodies and what they do for pub landlords and landladies. Continue reading →

How to run a pub: the definitive guide


So, you dream of becoming the boss of your own drinking establishment?

“Are you crazy!?” Friends and family might ask.

Actually, despite the gloomy statistics surrounding pub closures, owning a pub can still be a rewarding occupation.

It takes hard work, passion, business acumen and great people skills; but it CAN be done.

However, before you invest your money, you ought to know what’s involved – and what to consider.

how to run a pub: you could be your own boss

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6 simple steps to conquer TripAdvisor as a pub marketing tool

Bonus: Download our free checklist that will show you how to quickly setup and run your tripadvisor page!

TripAdvisor pubs owl laptopFollowing our article on why savvy TripAdvisor pubs have an advantage over competitors, we thought we’d help you join the collective…

…by demonstrating how to become one of those savvy TripAdvisor pubs.

These are the pubs successfully using TripAdvisor to attract new customers.

Despite the horror stories, it is entirely possible to make TripAdvisor work for you.

Besides, there’s a simple choice:

  • Leave your TripAdvisor pub page exposed to the whims of the internet-arati.


  • Take control of your listing, exhibit your pub in all its glory and transform it into a customer-cultivating resource.

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Why savvy TripAdvisor pubs have an advantage over competitors

Trip AdvisorTripAdvisor is a hugely important website for pubs. As the world’s most popular travel site it has the potential to influence whether or not a customer chooses to frequent your establishment.

If someone’s going to write a review of your pub right now, then TripAdvisor is the most likely website they’ll use.

At the same time, if someone wants to find out if your pub is any good, then there’s a good chance they’ll read-up about it on TripAdvisor. Continue reading →