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Sunday, May 31, 2020
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Pub Ownership as a Business Venture

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Let’s be honest, how awesome would be to have a pub? Even if you’ve never considered owning one, think about it for a second: you’d literally never have to think about where to spend the night out with your buddies. If you are a committed entrepreneur, pub ownership can be a fun, exhilarating and profitable experience. So let’s get started!


Is pub ownership up your alley?

If there’s a piece of advice that is applicable to all business types, it’s “do not get into something that you aren’t willing to follow through”. This might sound like a no-brainer, but in reality, many entrepreneurs start businesses that are destined to fail, solely owing to the fact that they aren’t aware of what running a particular business type requires. Sure, like any other business, there are regular business-starting steps that need to be covered, but here’s what a future pub owner should ask themselves:

  • Are you a people person? – Social interaction goes hand in hand with running a pub, there is no way around it. For a person who is awkward around new people, pub ownership could become quite an icebreaker, but if you have no wish of interacting with customers, you can forget about this type of business venture.


  • Are you responsible? – All-round alcohol access might not be the best choice for those who aren’t too keen on the idea of self-control. Saving the partying for the after-hours is absolutely cool, but excessive drinking during bartending is never a good idea.
  • Dealing with a variety of situations? – Where there is alcohol, there is uncertainty. Even people you’ve had a bunch of drunk stories with can become unpredictable when under influence. As a pub owner, you need to be a people person, an excellent mediator and an authority figure at the same time.

The business side of things

If you’ve been nodding your head most of the time while reading the previous paragraphs, you can move on to the business-related side of things. It’s time to get that entrepreneurship spirit going, step-by-step!


  • Business plan – First of all, market research very much applies to pub businesses. If there are too many similar venues in your target area, it’s time to consider a different part of town. Next, carefully outline the theme you intend to apply to your pub and your business structure; this is what will set you apart from the competition.
  • Registration – In order to avoid legal problems, it is essential that you register your pub name with the county clerk.
  • Financing – Yep, this is unquestionably the most important part that needs covering. When it comes to pub businesses, asking a friend or family member to partner up with you is usually the most convenient way to go; you share the expenses, plus it will make things more fun and rewarding. Some people, however, don’t have this opportunity, which is what incubator startups are for.


  • Liquor license and health department permits – Not a lot to say here – you can’t legally sell alcohol without a liquor license and you can’t really own a pub without having alcoholic beverages on the menu. Health department permits go without saying in the service industry.
  • Fresh air – This is where you can get creative. In addition to the regular draft system, bar, bar stools, tables, chairs and a ton of other things, think about adding the outside part of the pub to the equation, if possible. Make things interesting by, for example, installing designed shade sails that will protect your customers in both rain and sunshine.
  • Think outside the box – Come up with stuff that will set you apart from the competition, be it a beautifully-made custom menu, a unique music genre specialization, or indoor plant decorations.


Not only is owning a pub a ton of fun, but it’s also a rewarding and even profitable venture. Of course, pub business is still business, which means that you’re going to have to go through a lot of grinding in order to make your dream come true. With all that in mind, unless pub ownership is your dream, you should definitely reconsider starting such a business.

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