Careers Advice

Job Profile: General Manager

Ever wondered what it's like to be a manager of a pub or bar?

Fancy becoming a general manager? This job profile might be able to help!

You might think managing a pub sounds like an easy job... however, as a general manager, you will oversee all aspects of the pub, including stock control, recruiting staff, accounting, front-of-house duties and possibly marketing.  

General managers often live within the pub they manage, so this isn’t just your 9-5, it’s a real lifestyle change!  

Depending on what you want, there will be some opportunities to buy your own pub, but most pubs are owned by a brewery or pub company who employ general managers to run the business.  

(If running your own pub sounds like the perfect job for you, head over to our sister site: to find your dream opportunity!!) 


Depending on the type of pub you are running, responsibilities will differ. For example, running a small free trade pub will involve different tasks and duties, compared to operating a well-known chain pub. 

Here is a snapshot of some of the general responsibilities that you might get involved with:  

  • Customer Service - Ensuring high standards of customer service are maintained. As the general manager, you will need to set the standard when interacting with customers. Don’t be surprised if you need to get involved with serving food and drink too! 

  • Recruiting, Training and Managing Staff - This might include advertising job vacancies, conducting interviews, conducting regular meetings and finding ways to keep staff motivated. 

  • Commercial Performance - Meeting targets such as profit and sales performance, and monitoring this on a regular basis. 

  • Stock Control – Regularly checking stock levels and placing orders with suppliers. 

  • Maintenance - Ensuring the property is regularly maintained, including any repairs and cleaning. 

  • Communication with your BDM - Having regular meetings with the Regional Manager who will assess the pub’s performance in comparison to others within the region.  

  • Security - Being responsible for the safety and security of the pub, which can include hiring and managing a security team for large, city centre pubs. 

  • Health & Safety - Making sure the pub complies with Health & Safety Regulations, this includes in the kitchen if your pub serves food. 

  • Entertainment - Advertising, organising and conducting entertainment activities such as pub quizzes, live music events, comedy nights, games nights etc. 

  • Marketing & Promotional Activity - Running marketing campaigns to promote products/services/offers in the pub.  

  • Customer Feedback - Collecting customer feedback on a regular basis, and then choosing how to act on this feedback to ensure the pub is always improving in the interest of its customers. 

  • Local Community Relations – Building and maintaining good relationships with the local community. 


  • An Assistant General Manager could potentially earn a salary between £16,000 and £21,000 annually. 

  • A General Manager’s salary could range between £20,000 and £35,000 annually. 

  • Area Managers (who are responsible for several businesses in a specific region) could earn a salary starting from £40,000 annually. 


There are no formal qualifications required to become a general manager. A background in customer service or sales would be advantageous. 

However, if you did want to stand out against other candidates and learn more about the industry, these degree subjects would be suitable:  

  • Business and Hospitality  

  • Business Management  

  • Hospitality Management 

  • Marketing  

  • Hotel Management  

One qualification that is essential if you want to run your own pub in order to supply or sell alcohol is a Personal License. You can obtain the licensing qualification from any of the following bodies:  

There are also Graduate Opportunities available at the larger pub companies, where you join as an assistant pub manager. Throughout the programme, you will learn all the aspects of being a general manager, and then have an opportunity to gain all the relevant licensing qualifications before moving into a management role. 

Some Pub Companies that offer these graduate programmes include:  

  • Mitchells & Butlers  

  • Fuller’s  

  • Greene King 

  • Stonegate Pub Company 


As a General Manager, you should have experience within these areas: 

  • Customer Service  

  • Commercial awareness 

  • Cellar management knowledge 

  • Literacy and numeracy  

  • Leading a team 

  • Managing staff 

  • Communicating effectively – both verbally and written

  • Market knowledge  

  • Organisational skills  

Work Experience:

Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience in the hospitality industry, having a background in sales in any industry would be beneficial to this role. However, you must have experience in managing a team. 

If you are looking at doing a hospitality-related degree, these will often include placement years. Placements are a good opportunity to get some experience in this sector. Some large companies that offer placements include: 

  • Hilton 

  • Whitbread PLC 

  • Pizza Express 

  • Bourne Leisure  

  • Mitchells & Butlers 

Doing an apprenticeship is another route into this industry. Large companies that offer apprenticeships include:  

  • Greene King 

  • Mitchells & Butlers  

  • Marston's  

  • Cote Brasserie 

  • Marriott Hotels 

  • Hilton 

  • KFC 

Always remember to check out for a wide range of jobs in the hospitality sector, including apprenticeships, part-time, and full-time work. 

We hope this article has helped you realise if this is the right profession for you!