The 10 Commandments Of Running A Pub

A struggling young publican fell asleep on a bar stool, and lo! An angel appeared and delivered these Ten Commandments.

THOU SHALT Offer a Good Selection of Beer

Know your customers’ tastes, and offer them options that are familiar and well loved. Also include a few beers for the more adventurous. Some people drink the same beer for years, but others are always looking for something new to try. Try and offer different styles of beer : IPA, Golden Bitter, Mild, Porter (to name but a few) and just as you keep your food offering seasonal, go with the seasons with your ales. Cask, keg or bottled the UK has over 1,000 brewers offering over 6,000 beers so there’s plenty to choose from.

THOU SHALT NOT Serve Stale Beer

Keep your lines clean and your taps well maintained. If you have ales on tap, especially real ales from small breweries, be aware that may not contain preservatives and they can go off. Check them regularly and remember that once tapped a cask ale should usually be consumed within 24-48 hours to be enjoyed at its best.

THOU SHALT Offer a Seasonal Menu

If your pub serves food, then offer seasonal menus. In the winter customers will crave hardy stews and savoury pies. In the summer they will more likely be in the mood for salads and sandwiches.

THOU SHALT NOT Be Stingy With Food

Most ingredients are fairly inexpensive, and you’ll sell more food if it is of good value. As a pub owner, you will be making most of your money from the sale of alcoholic beverages. Your food should be simple, high quality, reasonably priced and served in generous portions.

THOU SHALT Hire the Right Staff

All of the most successful pubs have good employees. Hire people who are both pleasant and efficient. You’ll sell more drinks during busy times if your staff can serve them quickly. Your customers will come back again and again if they feel welcome. If you pay more for the best people, they will more than make up for the extra cost in additional sales. As grandma used to say ” if you pay peanuts … you get monkeys”.

THOU SHALT NOT Alienate Dissatisfied Customers

‘The customer is always right’ is an old idea, but it’s truer today than ever before. If a customer complains about the food or service, then go the extra mile to make them happy. Don’t hesitate to offer discounts or free meals/drinks. Bad word-of-mouth doesn’t just circulate locally. It can also reach potential customers on the internet.

THOU SHALT Choose Music Your Customers Will Enjoy

You may be opinionated about music, and you may think that you have exceptionally good taste. However, as a pub owner, you should be more concerned about your customers’ taste than your own. Play music that your customers will enjoy and if you enjoy it too, so much the better.

THOU SHALT NOT Play Music Too Loudly

People go to pubs to socialise. If they’re struggling to talk over the music, then you are playing it too loudly. If you have a live band in or if there’s dancing, then your patrons might reasonably be expected to listen rather than talk. However, even then, your pub should never be ear-splittingly loud or cause a nuisance to your neighbours.

THOU SHALT Be Community Friendly

The best pubs offer regulars and members of the surrounding community opportunities to do things other than just drink. As a pub owner, you can arrange quiz nights, live music and even charitable events. You can display the work of local artists on the walls or take up a collection to offer a free Christmas dinner to seniors.

THOU SHALT NOT Make Newcomers Feel Uncomfortable

Running a pub well means walking a fine line between creating a familiar, homey atmosphere for regulars and running an establishment that feels unwelcoming to newcomers. Avoid creating an atmosphere that feels either too club-like or “dodgy”. Don’t block the view through your windows, and make sure that your staff do not chat with regulars to the extent that they ignore new customers.

This article was contributed by, the market-leading directory of business opportunities from Dynamis, the online media group also behind and

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