How To Become an Assistant Pub Manager

24 Jan 2020

24 Jan 2020

So, you want to become an assistant pub manager, how do you go about getting yourself the job?

Many of us enjoy spending time with friends and family within the walls of that great traditional establishment known as the British pub. It is possible to one day be managing the business side of this institution, but it’ll take a lot more than strong social skills (though these are essential) to succeed in this demanding job, requiring a wide range of other abilities. If you’re willing to put the time and effort in, this can be one of the most rewarding careers available to you. Of course, before getting started you’ll need to know what you’re getting into, so here’s what to expect if you wish to pursue a career in pub management and steps on how to become an assistant pub manager:

Where To Start on Your Journey to an Assistant Pub Manager

Before becoming an assistant pub manager, you will need to first develop your knowledge and general skills in the front of house sector of hospitality. A great place to start would be a waiting staff position. Starting here, you will mainly be charged with greeting customers, taking orders, serving food, ensuring customers are satisfied and taking payment from customers.

During this role you may be promoted to head waiter / waitress depending on the establishment you are working in. From working as a front of house member, you will have gained personable and professional skills which will usually include the following:

  • People Skills / Communication skills
  • Multi-tasking
  • Time Management
  • Presentation
  • Team work
  • Problem solving skills

After working in the front of house sector for a few years and gaining valuable experience which you can carry through to your hospitality management career.

Assistant Pub Manager, it’s time to step up

Assuming you then move on to becoming an assistant pub manager, with a view to progress, you can expect a starting salary between £16,000-21,000 pa. Salaries for a pub manager or licensee then tend to range from £20,000 to £35,000 pa.

Working hours vary and are likely irregular (this certainly isn’t strictly 9-5) but you can expect to be very busy if/when you work your way up from an assistant pub manager to an Area pub manager, responsible for several pubs within a specific geographical area. In this role you can expect earnings upwards of £40,000 pa

Bear in mind, income figures can vary in this line of work and these are only intended as a guide, with actual figures likely dependent on your own performance and commitment to the role. Typically, you’ll be rewarded for the hard work you put in.

What’s involved in the day-to-day work of an assistant pub manager / pub management?

Safe to say quite a lot, all of which we wouldn’t be able to cover here. Like with many other management roles, the details of your daily tasks will only become clear with experience in the role. However, here are some general duties you can expect as an assistant pub manager:

  • Ensuring high standards of customer service, to include not only serving refreshments but building relationships with regular customers
  • Provide pub safety regulations and security detail, ensuring these are kept to the necessary high standard
  • Organise/advertise entertainment such as live music events, which will likely provide a large source of the pub’s income
  • Undertake regular stock checks, placing orders and restocking when necessary
  • Regular maintenance such as cleaning and repairs
  • Managing staff, keeping them as updated and motivated as possible and assistant the pub manager

What qualities should I have for pub management?

As an assistant pub manager or any management figure in hospitality you’ll almost certainly need to be a ‘people person’, as this is a role in which you will be dealing with them a lot, whether that be your own staff, customers, safety standard officers, or any number of other social commitments. You should have literacy and numeracy skills, be comfortable with setting targets (as well as meeting them), and be capable of handling pressure. A decent understanding of relevant pub legislation and knowledge of served products will also be essential. Some of this can be gained as you go, but at least start with an interest in learning more.


No formal qualifications are required for entry into this profession, though a degree or certification in hospitality, business, management or similar can help boost your chances. In England and Wales, you must have an accredited licensing qualification to sell alcohol. You may be able to study for this during training for a management role, but working towards it beforehand can’t hurt, so this is also something to consider.

This career defining job title is now yours. But does it stop here?... Of course not! 

After you’ve proved yourself and gained some valuable experience as an assistant pub manager, the next step for you would be to climb the ladder to become a pub manager or pub tenant.

Take the plunge; you never know what opportunities could be out there for you. This could be the career that you’ve always been looking for.