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Hospitality & Tourism careers

Bars, Pubs & Clubs

Why get involved with bars, pubs & clubs?

The pub has been a traditional part of life in the UK for the last half a millennium and the advent of bars and clubs hasn’t changed that custom.

Visiting pubs, clubs and bars devours a large amount of our nation’s free time and everyone has great memories of delicious pub food, partying with friends, or starting relationships in some of the thousands of pubs, bars and clubs in the UK.

Working in a bar, pub or a club is something that huge numbers of people have experienced at some point in their lives and, for the most part, it can be a lot of fun. However, the hours may be long and the customers can be demanding, rude and even violent. Consequently, if you pursue a career in this area, you might be working in a very challenging environment.

What can I do in bars, pubs & clubs?

The career options in this industry range from bar staff, waiters, waitresses and publicans, to cleaners, security staff and promoters. The diversity of roles is extensive and wages span a huge pay scale, from people earning national minimum wage, right up to millionaires.

Pubs are usually open from lunch time until late at night, but the day starts much earlier with cleaning, deliveries and preparations for the day and night ahead. Most pubs are open seven days a week, so it can be hard to find time to rest. Furthermore, if you work in a club it is likely you will be going home as the sun comes up.

A key consideration for the majority of people who work in these establishments is the law. Whether it is bar staff ensuring all patrons are the right age to buy alcohol or bouncers making sure people aren’t possessing illicit substances and weapons, it’s important to get it right; one slip up can result in huge fines, or worse still, the establishment can be closed and people can be held criminally liable.  

At the same time, there are few places that are so sociable, so if you love interacting with people, entertaining and providing others with a great service, then these kinds of establishments can be fantastic places to develop your career. Publicans, bar owners and club owners often start by working on the bar and slowly work their way up to positions of responsibility and become the heart of the local community.

What do I need to work in bars, pubs & clubs?

If you like spending your time interacting with people, working as part of team and don’t mind late nights, then this can be a great industry to work in. For those people who are ambitious, there is a lot of opportunity to reach the top, but remember you will often need to spend several years building up your experience on relatively low wages, and working long hours, before you can reap the potential rewards that this industry has to offer.

Many people who pursue careers in this area, and stick with it for a number of years, will progress into managerial positions and may eventually consider opening their own establishment.

Do you see yourself as a budding Peggy Mitchell, just as gutsy but perhaps with slightly less questionable business ethics? If so then click here to check out the occupational profile of a Public House Manager – perhaps bars, pubs and clubs hospitality careers could be just what you were looking for…