The Cask Project

A reason for young people to work in pubs

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

How can we get younger people into hospitality jobs?

Related tags Finance Training Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators

Making a pub great will, inevitably, make hospitality a more attractive place to work and forge a career – and that goes is true for both management and subordinate staff, according to Robinsons Brewery.

Joint managing director of the Stockport-based brewer and pub operator Oliver Robinson said: “It’s not just ‘I want a job in a pub while I’m trying to save money for my gap year’. There is a long-term benefit to staying in hospitality because it’s a really sociable industry to be in.

“If you run a pub, whether that’s tenanted or managed, it’s a way of life but you can also make a good wage. We’ve got to make sure we support our licensees and managers so we can continue to invest in our estate.

“We’re spending £12m this year and we spent £12m last year on our estate. That’s not just capex, it’s compliance, it’s repairs, it’s everything that goes with running an estate of more than 250 pubs.”

Importance of training

Recruitment is naturally an issue for Robinsons as it has been and continues to be for the entire hospitality sector. Director of marketing David Bremner says of the north-west business: “Some 50% of our employees are aged under 25. We’ve got 800 people in our managed pubs – it’s a growing number.”

Robinson expands on this: “Recruitment is one thing but then there’s the importance of training. There’s still a reasonably high turnover of staff in pubs, whether it be tenanted or managed, and training is a key point.

“We all think we could run great pubs but it takes a certain individual, it’s a certain lifestyle to do it full time. Sometimes we’re behind the bars and we know what we want to push so when somebody comes in we want them to try this new 3.4% cask beer that we’ve just launched.”

Encouraging younger staff

He continued: “If we can get a younger audience into cask and if we can train somebody [in beer], they can be brilliant. But you need a ‘stayer’ to support younger staff so you can get them more interested. Get them cleaning the lines, get them involved in it because they become more passionate about it. Let everybody get involved in the importance of cleanliness and importance of beer quality.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s cask or a keg beer, we want them to question ‘why am I losing the head on this pint?’ and so on.

“We spot the areas where we need to make improvements so everybody has got to be really proactive to make sure the experience in our pubs is a brilliant one and not just ‘it was OK’.

Click here​ to see a video interview and feature with Oliver Robinson and David Bremner.

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