Careers in pubs, bars & nightclubs

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Pubs, bars and nightclubs are an important part of our culture and social scene. Every day people visit one of 52,000 pubs, bars and nightclubs in the UK to celebrate, have fun and wind down. If you're energetic and sociable, this is a great industry for you to join.

You’ll meet many people in a fast-paced, busy environment, meaning no two days are ever the same. Many pubs offer food and function as a pub and restaurant, so this industry offers a diverse environment with plenty of career paths. Chefs, bar managers and waiters can all have a successful career in a bar, pub and nightclub!

Most pubs and bars are small businesses employing less than 10 employers, for example, 45% of pubs, bars and nightclubs have a team of just 1 to 4 people. Other pub companies, such as Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns, have thousands of leased premises that tenants own and run on their behalf. There are also larger UK-wide chains such like Wetherspoons, Spirit Pub company and Stonegate that own a portfolio of popular brands.

The nightclub industry is also made up of a mixture of small and large operators, with Luminar Group being the biggest operator in the UK, owning Oceana, Liquid and Cameo.

Become a pub chef!

The skills you need

For a successful career in the pub, bar and nightclub industry, you will need to have first-rate interpersonal skills. As you probably know, pubs, bars and nightclubs are lively environments, so customers are often chatty and want you to join in the fun. While you can’t get too distracted from the job, being friendly and welcoming are qualities that will help you progress in your career and get you noticed.

For public-facing roles, such as a bar team member or host you will need excellent communication and customer service skills. You may be required to take orders where there is lots of noise so it’s important that you listen and can communicate to your customers clearly.

Other roles will require you to work well in a team; this is especially true for roles based in the kitchen and bar where quick service relies on good communication between the staff members.