Running a successful pub requires more than just a love for good beer. A pub manager wears many hats—they are the face of the establishment, the chief problem-solver, and a master multitasker. What, then, do the most effective pub managers have in common? Here, we uncover some of the traits that define excellent pub management.

1. Exceptional People Skills

Great pub managers excel in their people skills. They create an environment where customers feel welcomed and valued, and where staff feel motivated and appreciated. These managers have the ability to interact with a wide range of personalities—whether it’s engaging in light-hearted banter with regulars, tactfully handling an unruly patron, or motivating a member of their team. Their strong interpersonal skills foster a positive and inviting pub atmosphere that keeps patrons coming back and staff motivated.

2. Knowledge of the Industry

In-depth knowledge of the pub industry is a trait shared by all successful pub managers. This includes understanding the types of drinks served, familiarity with licensing laws, awareness of current trends in the sector, and knowledge of health and safety regulations. Their insight into the industry enables them to make informed decisions that contribute to the pub’s success. If you’re thinking about a new role, you’ll find live-in pub manager jobs on the MAP Taverns website.

3. Excellent Organisational Skills

Running a pub involves juggling many different tasks—from managing inventory and scheduling staff shifts, to overseeing the pub’s cleanliness and ensuring compliance with regulations. Good pub managers excel in organisation and multitasking. They have a keen eye for detail, and their ability to prioritise and delegate tasks ensures smooth operations even in the most hectic of situations.

4. Financial Savvy

A good pub manager also has a strong grasp on financial management. They understand the importance of budgeting, managing cash flows, and controlling costs to maintain a profitable operation. They keep a close eye on the financial health of the pub, identifying opportunities for boosting revenue and areas where savings can be made.

5. A Passion for Customer Service

Customer service is at the heart of the hospitality industry, and this is no different in a pub setting. The best pub managers are passionate about providing exceptional customer service. They understand that the success of their establishment hinges on the satisfaction of their patrons. From ensuring the quality of drinks served to addressing customer complaints effectively, they continually strive to enhance the customer experience.

6. Leadership and Team Building

Successful pub managers are not just bosses—they’re leaders who inspire their team to achieve shared goals. They lead by example, showing initiative, working hard, and upholding the values of the establishment. They foster a team spirit among staff, acknowledging good work, providing constructive feedback, and promoting a positive work environment. This encourages employees to deliver their best, which directly impacts the pub’s success.

7. Resilience and Adaptability

The pub industry can be fast-paced and unpredictable, requiring managers who are resilient and adaptable. Good pub managers maintain composure in high-stress situations and adapt quickly to unexpected changes. They are problem-solvers who can think on their feet, coming up with quick and effective solutions to the various challenges that arise in pub management.


A good pub manager is an all-rounder with a diverse skill set. Their exceptional people skills, industry knowledge, organisational ability, financial savvy, and passion for customer service combine to create a vibrant and successful pub atmosphere. Add to this a sense of leadership, resilience, and adaptability, and you have the formula for successful pub management. These common traits aren’t innate—they can be cultivated and honed, promising a rewarding and successful career in pub management for those willing to rise to the challenge.

By Richard