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:

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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 →

Running a pub for the first time: do you have what it takes?


Running a pub for the first time 1.3When you’re considering running a pub for the first time, it’s OK to experience pangs of self-doubt. After all, it’s a massive undertaking and there’s lots to learn.

Besides, anyone who enters the trade brimming with misplaced self-confidence, will likely exit the trade humbled and out of pocket.

Long ago, things were much simpler. Being a publican was considered a comfortable retirement proposition.  Continue reading →

7 simple methods for gathering pub customer feedback

customer suggestion box

In our previous article we made the hard-nosed business case for why customer feedback matters.

If you’ve read it then you’ll be keen to learn all the strategies available for successfully gathering customer opinions.

So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. PLUS we will show you how to organise and act upon this information enabling you to run a pub with greater success. Continue reading →

7 reasons why your pub must gather customer feedback

bar-749458_1280How often do you get to hear what patrons think of your pub? Everyday? Once a week? Only when the moon turns blue?

Perhaps you’re among those who DO seek out the opinions of your pub’s customers.

Yet, too many pub owners gather customer opinions by chance. Like when a customer sends an email to the pub or when a conversation is overheard in the bar. Continue reading →

“Mine’s a cappuccino”: why selling coffee in pubs is a no-brainer

coffee in spaceLast year the Telegraph published a fascinating article which detailed why coffee shops are replacing pubs in Britain.

Unless you’ve been living on Kepler 452b, you will have noticed the huge rise in coffee shops across our town and city centres which has taken place over the last 15 years. Chains like Costas and Starbucks seem to be everywhere; while independent coffee houses are also booming.

This increase in the number of coffee and cake dispensaries has coincided with the continuing decline of public houses.

Is there a correlation? Continue reading →