A bar manager runs a pub or a club which has a licence to sell alcohol, or manages the bars in a hotel or other leisure establishments.
You could be:
- buying in food and drink, setting the prices and controlling the stock
- keeping the accounts and meeting sales targets
- hiring, supervising and training staff
- helping to serve drinks, cleaning up the bar area, collecting and washing glasses
- organising and advertising entertainment on the premises
- intervening to deal with any problems, such as rowdy or difficult customers, and if necessary calling the police
- taking overall responsibility for health, safety, hygiene and the security of staff, customers and premises
- ensuring laws relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol and tobacco are upheld
- writing reports for the brewery or landlord.
You might be:
- an employee of a pub chain
- a tenant renting a pub from a brewery
- a freehold trader owning and running an independent pub
- the manager of a bar or number of bars in a hotel.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of the company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
Starting pay for assistant managers can range from £18,000 to £24,000 a year, and after experience pay for managers can rise to £40,000 a year or more. Some employers may offer other rewards such as bonuses and some jobs may come with free accommodation as part of the package.
- You work long and unsocial hours, often in the evenings and at weekends. Opening hours can be up to 3am, or later in hotel bars.
- You might have to lift heavy barrels and crates of beer or wine.
- Busy periods can be stressful as many people make demands on you at the same time.
- Conditions can be crowded and noisy.
- Some managers are self-employed, taking a tenancy with a brewery.
- If you are the licensee you are personally responsible for ensuring that all laws and regulations are enforced.
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- There are Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and degrees available in relevant subjects such as business, hospitality management and catering.
- You generally need 1-2 Highers or HNCs and HNDs and for a 4 Highers for a degree.
- Some pub and hotel chains run graduate training schemes, which can lead to management positions when completed.
- You can gain experience as a bar worker and then apply for promotion.
- To run a licensed premises you will require the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders at SCQF level 6.
- You must be over 18 to serve behind a bar and to be a licensee.
Predicted Employment in Scotland
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What Does it Take?
You need to have:
- a smart appearance and polite manner
- tact and assertiveness for dealing with difficult situations
- business skills and the ability to meet sales targets
- a good sense of humour
- motivational and leadership skills
- organisational skills
- speed and accuracy in number skills.
You need to be able to:
- chat easily to a wide range of people
- remain calm under pressure
- make decisions and solve problems
- take responsibility.
- Most bar training is on the job. There are Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Food and Beverage Service at Level 2 (SCQF Level 5). SVQs at Level 3 cover supervisory and management skills.
- The BII awards the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders.
- Under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 all staff serving or selling alcohol must receive at least two hours of basic training before they can sell or serve alcohol. Employers are expected to provide the training.
- The BII also runs other courses relating to licensed premises management, such as health and safety.
- ServeWise, part of the national alcohol charity Alcohol Focus Scotland, runs various courses for the licensed trade. This includes courses that meet the staff training requirements of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and a course leading to the Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (http://www.ServeWiseonline.co.uk/)
- The Wine and Spirit Education Trust also offer a range of relevant courses.
- You usually start off as assistant bar manager and then move on to general bar manager.
- After gaining experience and qualifications you can move on into jobs offering more independence: from bar manager to pub tenant, pub free trader or hotel manager.
- Alternatively you could work up within a large chain of pubs to area manager and regional manager.
- The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 requires all personal licence holders to complete the BIIAB Refresher course within five years of the issue of their licence.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
People 1st - Hospitality Guild
Tel: 0203 074 1222
People 1st is the Sector Skills Council for the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries.
UKSP is now part of the Hospitality Guild, which provides information on careers in the hospitality and tourism industry. The website has an online 'personality' test designed to help you identify suitable careers within the above industries.
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