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Public house manager: Job description

A public house manager is responsible for the commercial success of a pub or bar. Duties range from front-of-house work to staff recruitment, marketing, accounting and stock control. The role requires strong management, commercial and practical skills.

Legislation changes have led to a more competitive market and an industry which is the focus of public attention. A pub manager must constantly adapt to ensure that their pub is profitable, pleasant and safe and that it is run in accordance with the law and ethical guidelines.

The sale of alcohol is restricted in the UK. Pubs, restaurants, shops and other premises must be licensed by the local authority, and the manager must also hold a personal licence.

Typical work activities

As public houses differ widely, day-to-day duties vary. Running a small, independent tenancy pub involves different challenges from operating a high profile 'chain' pub. Some large or lucrative pubs employ assistant managers to help with the day-to-day running of the outlet and often vacancies are advertised for a manager or management couple.

Typical activities may include:

  • interacting with customers (including serving food and drink) and ensuring that high standards of customer service are maintained;
  • taking responsibility for pub safety and security, including recruiting and managing security staff in large or centrally based pubs;
  • overseeing compliance with health and safety regulations at all times in the pub, kitchen and other areas;
  • organising and advertising events such as live music, comedy nights, quizzes and karaoke competitions, which may involve researching and recruiting talent;
  • running promotional campaigns to market house products;
  • collecting and acting on customer feedback to improve the overall running of the venue;
  • undertaking regular stock checks, placing orders with suppliers and restocking (which involves physical work);
  • ensuring regular maintenance of the premises, including cleaning and repairs;
  • recruiting, training and managing staff, including leading meetings to update and motivate staff;
  • monitoring profitability and performance to ensure sales targets are met or exceeded;
  • meeting with the area or business manager for the region to assess pub performance and set sales targets;
  • ensuring that the pub adheres to various legal frameworks;
  • maintaining relations with members of the local community, the police and liquor licensing authorities.
Written by AGCAS editors
January 2012

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