A Guide to Opening A Pub in A Major City

By | June 17, 2022

pubFor some, opening a pub in a major city is a lifelong dream. The opportunity to relocate to a highly populated area of the country seems highly enticing whilst also having the potential to  be an incredibly lucrative move. With this in mind, we have detailed a start up guide on what to expect when deciding to open a pub in a major city and will discuss some useful tips should you do decide to pull the trigger.

Foundation stage 

To start this guide, we would firstly like to discuss the initial foundation stage. Opening a pub alone is no easy feat and there is bound to be a substantial amount of sacrifice you will be required to take. A lot of people are too naive to realise how much work is actually involved when running a public house that they give up at the very first hurdle. It takes incredible resilience and determination just to get the ball rolling. 

In addition, it is wise to be realistic and ask yourself whether you truly want to go down this career path. There is every chance that in the first few years of running a pub that you may not make much, if any, profit at all. Moreover, you will usually have to work exceptionally long hours just to build your reputation and generate loyal, repeat customers. 

Furthermore, you need to figure out if you are cut out for this type of industry. It can be chaotic at times, and you may have to deal with some unpleasant characters, maybe even on a frequent basis. If you are prepared to face these kinds of problems, then great, you’ve already achieved the first step to successfully running a pub in a major city. Lastly, in relation to the foundation stage, it is advised that you create an extensive plan of where you are and where you want to be in the next few years. Write everything down from your goals, ambitions and your current budget. 

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Planning Stage

Now that you have decided you are ready to tackle this challenging industry, you will need to conduct some extensive planning and research into the area you wish to open up in. If you are a currently a pub owner in a small town/village or starting from scratch, there are a whole host of variables you need to consider which we have listed below: 

  • Location 


It’s not uncommon knowledge that the price of larger can vary massively depending on location. For example, in the UK, the price for a pint of beer in the country’s capital can reach as high as £8 whereas in the city of Swansea, you can expect to pay as little as £3.26. Clearly there are geographical differences when deciding how much to charge your alcohol so this is definitely something you must take into consideration. 

  • Staff considerations

No pub can expect to be profitable if the staff working on the premises have poor communication skills or possess a lack of care for their customers. Building relationships with your customers is crucial if you want to be successful in this industry and this all starts with the initial interaction from your staff. As the old saying goes, first impressions do count. Furthermore, you may have to factor in staff training costs to help build their people skills so that your customers can truly witness a memorable experience at your dream pub. 

  • Legal aspects

A final planning stage consideration you need to be aware of are the legalities of operating a public house. For example, you will be required to pay rent for the property, general tax, food, music and beverage licences as well as health and safety certifications. Failure to have or comply with any of these could end in your dream pub shutting down for good. As such,  always do your due diligence and conduct the necessary market research to what’s required to run a successful pub legally.  

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The final stage to opening your dream pub in a major city is the execution stage. If you are reading up to this section of the article, you are probably at the point of opening your pub. However, before you open the doors, you need to ensure you have put sufficient effort into both your marketing and pub aesthetics. This will set you apart from the competition, and will make people want to visit your establishment instead of the place they usually attend. Furthermore, it’s advised that you invest heavily in key features such as air conditioning, which will help immensely during the summer periods, or even luxury leisure items like a pool table and dartboard to appease your customers while under your roof.  

Once the doors are open, you will have to work incredibly hard. You will have to go above and beyond to satisfy your customers in order to keep them returning and will have to work tirelessly to try and improve your brand reputation and put your establishment on the map. 

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