It's all hands to the pumps!
WITH a never-ending round of Christmas and New Year parties, the festive season is anything but dull for publicans. So how do they learn to cope with the pressure? MARTYN LEEK looks at a new course for would-be landlords that teaches them the inns and outs of the trade.
THERE is more to running a pub than pulling a pint and a new training course has been set up near Dudley to prove this.
Run by the training and consultancy firm Inn-Dispensable Business Services Ltd, the course is held monthly at the Himley House pub and restaurant.
It has been specifically designed to teach prospective licensees about the trade but existing pub managers who want to refresh their skills can also attend.
Course co-ordinator Mike Ward, 53, who has a 35-year career in the pub and hotel industry, said there was a huge amount to learn about running a pub.
'Because it is so competitive out there and the general public are so discerning these days, people are looking for more than a pint of beer in a chipped glass, with somebody else's lipstick on it,' he said.
Inn-Dispensable runs various courses beginning with a single-day one on which prospective pub managers take an exam which leads to the National Licensees' Certificate (NLC).
The firm also designs courses for individual pubs and larger firms including Punch Taverns and Wetherspoon.
'The courses are very comprehensive and cover everything that a potential pub manager will need for an introduction to the industry,' said Mr Ward.
'This will start with the basics like how to pull a pint and the ages people can and cannot drink in a pub.
'It also covers aspects of conflict management and drugs.
'We also cover financial management and cashflow because they need to know how to run a business.'
The training programme also deals with changes in the industry like new licensing laws and an increase in demand for pubs to offer catering.
The course also offers advice on some of the country's more arcane licensing laws. For example, did you know it is perfectly legal for a five-year-old to sit in the restaurant part of a pub and be plied with alcoholic drink by an 'accompanying adult'?
Mr Ward said the majority of potential landlords are people looking for a second new career.
'They want to get out of the rat race and run a pub but sometimes they don't realise it's a very complex business. It's not just work during the opening hours. Somebody has got to put the bottles on the shelves and check the cellar, for example.
'It is one thing to stand the customer side of the bar for 20 years but another thing completely to stand behind the bar for just half an hour.'
CHEERS... Mike Ward who runs courses in pub management
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|Publication:||Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)|
|Date:||Dec 24, 2000|
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