Buying a pub is not like buying a standard restaurant, as a pub will mean more alcohol sales and often an entirely different crowd than with a family restaurant. You'll need to make different decisions when running a pub versus a restaurant, and it's good to understand this long before you ever buy the facility. Note a few important questions to ask when you're considering a pub for sale so you know what's involved and are prepared.
1. What is the amount of wet sales versus dry sales?
Wet sales refers to the sales of alcohol and dry sales means the sale of foodstuffs. You need to understand the proportion of these sales for a pub as it will affect your inventory, staff, and the like. If a pub makes more money from dry sales or food, you'll need to hire more cooking staff and waiters and waitresses. You'll also need to consider incidentals such as dishes and getting them washed and dried, as well as condiments, comfortable tables for eating, and the like. If the sales is more for alcohol, you'll need more pub tables, more choices of beer and other such items, and so on. Be sure you know the ratio of wet and dry sales before you purchase a pub of any sort.
2. Are there letting rooms with the pub?
Letting rooms can be a good business for a pub especially if it's located near a favorite venue for weddings and other such occasions. If you buy a pub with letting rooms then you need to consider yourself like a hotel. This means more staff for checking in overnight guests, a laundry room for towels and linens, and the like. You may also need additional permits and licenses. Be sure you understand everything involved with letting rooms with your pub before you decide on a purchase.
3. Note the number of permanent staff members
Buying a pub doesn't always mean you'll have permanent staff members as part of the deal. Be sure you ask about this and note the longevity of the staff currently employed. If there is a high turnover, you may need to start hiring staff as soon as you purchase the pub. This can be more of a hassle than you realize. Note the number of permanent staff they have and if you can trust that they will stick with the pub after the sale.