Beers and Beans - Are Running a Café or a Pub Dated Ideas?

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 14:30
Beers and Beans - Are Running a Café or a Pub Dated Ideas?

The smell of fine Arabica coffee beans being ground in the morning. The taste of a cooled, hoppy IPA after a long week at work. Relaxing, fun, satisfying… hard work too, demoralising, relentless. Whether you’re running a coffee shop or a pub, hospitality can be all of the above in a single shift.

It seems that so many people harbour a secret desire to run a café or a pub. Why? Honestly, they think it’s easy. It’s a vision often paired with dreams of retirement.

Anyone who has actually run a café or a bar would no doubt disagree. The work required behind the scenes to get to that chilled beer or to that hot, black pick-me-up can be exhausting.

If you’re thinking of opening a café or a pub you’ll need to think about…

… premises, lease terms, location, interior design, exterior design, marketing strategies, competition, licensing law for drinks pricing and strengths, drink pricing, opening hours, food licence and fees, menus, ingredients, suppliers, accounts, stock management, trends, allergy lists, smoking laws, music licences and fees, sound systems, live band bookings then comes staffing– hiring, firing, training, employment law, complaint handling, discrimination laws and throughout every day, motivating the team and keeping the customers happy!

The organisation required is time-consuming and far removed from the dream of sitting in the pub care-free every day, chatting with the locals and drinking down the profits.

So what keeps café owners and pub owners going? You need to commit to the hard work, enjoy catching up with your customers and looking after your staff to keep your business running smoothly. To keep a team organised and motivated, to push yourself, to create enticing menus and source beautiful beers or beans not just at the start but throughout your hospitality career, you need to be determined to succeed in your industry. To sum up, you need a real passion for your trade and that will show through in the service you offer.

Another important consideration if you’re thinking of opening a new café or pub is timing – both personally and economically. Can pubs and cafes survive in the current economic climate? Well, although there are a number of old pubs closing across Britain, there are also loads of success stories and new business models springing from the ground:

·      The Shed nightclub in Glasgow has recently had its licence extended.

·      A new generation has fallen in love with craft beer.  

·      British people have finally caught up with their European neighbours in an appreciation of the difference between a good coffee and an instant disappointment.

·      These trends are encouraging foreign investment as well as local entrepreneurialism such as Brewgooder’s Clean Water Lager.

With relatively cheap premises available in most towns, alternative methods of funding like Kickstarter and Crowdfunding becoming more popular and great free advice on starting out available from organisations like Business Gateway don’t be put off by the fall of old companies following out-dated business models, instead create your own.

Cafes and pubs can thrive in Britain today, they just need a touch of passion and imagination to be thrown into the mix.