Bar managers work in one of the ultimate people jobs – you’ll have daily contact with both your customers and your staff and, if you’re good at it, you’ll be seeing a lot of the former.
The front-of-house work is the most demanding and rewarding, but there’s always plenty of backroom work as well. From stock resupply to staff rotas, recruiting and training new workers to running promotions and advertising your bar, your work will never be done.
Being outgoing, confident and professional are important attributes to have, as is sound business sense, excellent negotiation skills and a good head for figures.
Experience is the way to climb the career ladder, so working in various pubs and bars is the key to your chances of promotion. Some of the larger pub and hospitality companies also run management training programmes.
Formal qualifications are limited to the British Institute of Innkeepers’ National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders, although knowledge of health and safety regulations is required too.
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Other recommended resources:
British Institute of Innkeepers Awarding Body
The specialist provider of qualifications in the licensed goods industry, namely the serving of alcohol such as in a bar or pub. They offer apprenticeships and training to get you in and career development to push you up, so whether you want to start a business, get through the door or improve your current position in the industry, this is a great resource to go to.
Institute of Hospitality
A professional body for managers in the field of hospitality, they offer a number of career development, education and networking opportunities. They also offer a HAVE work experience scheme for students.
British Hospitality Association
A UK trade association for the hospitality industry; they offer workshop events and networking opportunities for its members.
British Beer and Pub Association
The leading professional body representing members of the UK drinks industry. Memberships gets you access to support, information and knowledge exchange to help strengthen your business.
Academy of Food and Wine Services
The professional body for front-of-house service. Whilst some managers may not quite qualify as front-of-house, this resource is useful for keeping updated on the latest industry information. They also offer training opportunities which may appeal to those who manage staff.
An online magazine resource for members of the hospitality trades, including the latest industry news and information. They also offer a ‘Your Business’ section which provides articles and support for managing a hospitality business.
The Sector Skills Council for the hospitality trade, People 1st offer a wide range of training and career development opportunities for bar/pub managers amongst other professionals.
An online magazine resource keeping you up-to-date with the latest in bar/pub management in addition to other aspects of hospitality. Great for managers of businesses that blur the lines of bar or pub, such as gastropubs.
A magazine blog which keeps you updated in the latest news, information and policy concerning businesses selling alcohol so if whether you’re already in management or just plan to get there, this website has a lot of information to help to stay on top.
Harpers’ Wine and Spirit Review
An online magazine resource bringing you the latest in alcohol reviews across the spectrum of price and occasion. Great for anyone involved in the alcohol trade but especially useful for managers thanks to the Wine and Spirit Directory available to subscribers which lists product information next to appropriate company information and trade associations and an international directory.
The ‘Campaign for Real Ale’ fights the cause for real ale, cider and community involvement and supports businesses which uphold these ideals. Their website has information and membership opportunities for those who want to get involved.
Pub is the Hub
Set up by HRH Prince of Wales, the Pub is the Hub is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at supporting rural and community pubs in the face of widespread closures through specific schemes and community ownership programmes.