Training & Recruitment: tenant induction

Related tags Greene king The tenant

A tenant's first night in their new pub is always a stressful experience. For Karen Richardson and Mark Woolson, the fact they have never run a pub...

A tenant's first night in their new pub is always a stressful experience. For Karen Richardson and Mark Woolson, the fact they have never run a pub before will make it even more so. Help is at hand for the couple, however, in the form of landlord Greene King Pub Partners' three-day tenant training programme.

Right from the start, Greene King tenant trainer Margaret Orman had a stark warning for Karen and Mark: "It's going to be very daunting. You will be very tired. You will come across things you have not envisaged, things not up to your standard. You must become an actor. Even if you want to kill each other while you are working front of house, you must always be a professional."

Margaret ought to know. Aside from being a finalist for the pub industry's Trainer of the Year in last year's NITA awards, she is herself a successful tenant of Greene King's Whitmore Arms in Orsett, Essex.

She is one of 21 tenant trainers the company has in place nationwide to deliver its scheme. The programme provides one-on-one coaching for new tenants within a pub environment, and a mentor who will be present in the tenant's pub on change-over day.

Despite all this, Karen and Mark still look worried as the training forces home the fact they are soon to take over the Old Crown in Messing, Essex, on April 19.

This is understandable. The pair have experience running pub kitchens under franchise agreements, but the stressful change-over date will be the first time they have taken the reins of an entire pub.

The Greene King induction programme runs in conjunction with a foundation course covering the National Certificate for Personal Licence Holders, finance, food hygiene and a number of other elements. The tenant training is designed to help new tenants prepare for the big day by providing guidance in a number of key areas.

Bar and customer service

This ensures that sales are maximised through effective interaction with customers. Following training, Mark and Karen should be able to ensure their staff maintain high standards of service, display full knowledge of products and dispense, and be able to set up and close down a bar.

Margaret calls awareness of good customer service "putting the radar up".

Cellar management

Customers should be able to get a "perfect pint every time" from Karen, Mark and their staff. They should be able to describe the key factors that deliver this perfect serve, state the importance of correct and regular maintenance of equipment, demonstrate good cellar management and stock control, describe the key legal issues in relation to health and safety in the cellar and explain the correct procedures for cleaning lines.

Margaret also stresses the need to be vigilant over stock control and checking deliveries. "You are not penny pinching, you are running a professional establishment," she tells the tenants-in-waiting. "It's not the draymen or the depot that's going to deal with a bad pint, it's you."

Essential legislation

After training, Mark and Karen should be compliant with health and safety and other regulations. They should be able to describe the relevance of health and safety to their day-to-day pub operation, describe their legal obligations, identify the common causes of accidents and demonstrate an understanding of how to carry out effective hazard analysis.

"Running a pub is a profession," Margaret tells them. "Gone are the days when anyone was given the opportunity. You have to adhere to strict guidelines from the government."

Employment law

This means complying with relevant acts of Parliament covering their staff. Karen and Mark should be able to state the principles of the Race Relations, Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts, and describe the correct procedures relating to disciplinaries and grievance, dismissal and redundancy.Staff recruitment and management

Margaret provides training in how to recruit and motivate staff, encouraging Karen and Mark to work on becoming effective communicators, producing effective job descriptions and adverts, and compiling induction programmes for new staff members.

Financial management

After the three days, Karen and Mark should understand the principles of book-keeping, be able to calculate profits and break-even points, and understand National Insurance, PAYE and VAT.

Marketing and merchandising

Professional planned merchandising and effective communication to customers is crucial, Margaret tells her students.

The training should give Karen and Mark an understanding of space management, how to make the most of back-bar displays and how to exploit common human behaviour.

Margaret in particular recommends researching surrounding pubs and especially their target markets. She suggests going into shops, churches and other local institutions to announce to locals that the Old Crown will be under new management.

This is a lot to take in for the licensees whose names will be soon be above the door of their new pub. In the weeks and months ahead, they will surely be thankful for this whistle-stop tour through how to be a tenant.

  • Look out for a full account of how Karen, Mark and Margaret fared on the dramatic changeover day on

Related topics Training

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more