Entrepreneurs are called to the bar

FORGET the stereotypical pub landlord - behind the bar is the perfect place for ambitious entrepreneurs, according to a survey by East Anglia-based pubs and brewing group Greene King.

FORGET the stereotypical pub landlord - behind the bar is the perfect place for ambitious entrepreneurs, according to a survey by East Anglia-based pubs and brewing group Greene King.

The study, the results of which have been analysed by the Institute of Leadership and Management, found that a massive 70% of those surveyed regard a pub as their ideal venue for socialising.

However, pub-goers are demanding ever-higher standards from their pub landlords and acknowledge the range of business skills now required of the modern licensee.

Landlords are no longer expected to simply pull pints and chat to regulars, but must possess a whole package of entrepreneurial and business skills - from customer services and sales and marketing to human resources and innovation - to meet customers' expectations.


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Reflecting the mix of personality and enterprise now seen as vital for success, the pub-goers surveyd rated Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Stelios Haji-Ioannou as their perfect pub landlords.

David Elliott, managing director of Greene King's leased and tenanted pubs division, said TV landlords such as Peggy Mitchell in Eastenders and Al Murray in Time Gentleman Please, were clearly outdated stereotypes, and he challenged scriptwriters to update their characters in line with consumers' expectations:

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“We have moved on from the days when landlords were perceived to be simply a friendly face behind the bar,” said Mr Elliott. “While customers still expect good service and friendly banter, landlords are undoubtedly being called upon to provide more in terms of the business management required to create customers' ideal venues for socialising.

“Our research shows that pubs are overwhelmingly at the heart of British society in 2007 and today's consumers are looking for an entrepreneurial individual to run their local. Pub-goers are demanding landlords with the business acumen, drive, ambition and degree of creativity needed to create their perfect pub.

“We're grateful that we are in partnership with so many exceptional licensees here at Greene King, but it's important that we continue to attract even more ambitious and enterprising individuals into the sector.”

Terry Rich, small business development consultant at the Institute of Leadership and Management - a major provider of management qualifications and part of City & Guilds - added: “The research demonstrates that pubs are one of the few places where true diversity exists.

“The best licensees offer something for everyone. The best managers in all industries are often those whose skills go unnoticed but I think this is particularly true of pub landlords. Customers clearly expect things to run smoothly but are often unaware of all the hard work that's required behind the scenes.

“Pub landlords in particular need to have skills in HR, finance, leadership and customer service amongst other attributes, and be able to demonstrate their skills in innovation and marketing”.

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