Could you work for a community bought pub?


Could you work for a community bought pub?


Not having to answer to a brewery may sound like the perfect scenario for many pub
landlords, but what if your bosses are essentially your customers? This will be the case for whoever takes on the
tenancy of the Cradleigh Arms, which has been bought by 57 residents of the village in
Devon, reports Big Hospitality.

Lawyer for the group, Hugh Sims, said: "It is a classic local village pub which has been there for a long time - it has gone through various different hands. A group of us were saying it would be a crying shame if it went the way of lots of
pubs just being turned into houses."

Saving the local pub has become a mission in recent years and residents taking them on and purchasing them has been mooted as the answer. It is a nice idea, but how comfortably will the bedfellows of locals and professionals fit together in reality? After all, the person who takes on the tenancy is likely to have been in the trade for some time and will consider themselves to know what they are talking about. Anyone who has worked in the pub trade however, will attest to the fact that every local under the sun has their own idea about how a pub should be run. Most landlords, or landladies for that matter, will have heard the words 'If I ran this pub...' coming from the lips of a slightly inebriated regular.

One of the most important things that needs to be established if this scenario is to be successful is the boundaries when it comes to running the pub. In business, owners have to appoint someone they trust and then stand by the decisions that they make and not get involved in the day-to-day politics of running an enterprise. One of the reasons why this can be a problem with regulars owning the local pub is that because they are not necessarily well versed in the world of business, this may not be clear to them.

Also, if they are in the pub then they are more likely to see something they don't agree with and take issue - add to this alcohol and the situation can get out of hand.

A recent study carried out by
The Mystery Dining Company looked into the attributes needed for a successful pub. The most important feature was friendliness, which gained 34 per cent of the vote. So if a friendly atmosphere is fostered between management, owners and staff then the Cradleigh Arms and others like it may have the recipe for success.

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