Everything You Need to Know About BritBound's 'The Live-In Pub Job One' Package

Aside from being perhaps the most British job you could do, it is also a fantastic way to have a pre-arranged job and accommodation! So get a head start with the job hunt and get it all sorted before you even leave home!

A uniquely British experience!

The British pub is renowned the world over and there can be few more quintessentially British experiences than living and working in one! At BritBound, the interest in the live-in UK pub job continues to remain ever popular. It’s not surprising because aside from it being such a uniquely British experience that you’re unlikely to forget, you also have the incredible advantage of being able to arrive in the UK with a job and accommodation all lined up.

The following information will give you a better idea about what to expect from signing up to this experience. It really is a great way to start living and working here, and we hope this article gives you the nudge you need to sign up!

An introduction to the British Pub

What is a pub?

Ha! A good question to ask! British Pubs are a unique feature of the UK landscape and have been for hundreds of years. Very few look the same; each one has it’s own character, style, age and ambiance. London alone has over 5,000 pubs with some dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, many even older! But what is a pub and how is it different to a bar? Well it’s a difficult question to answer, because as a Brit you just know and recognise a pub and can immediately distinguish it from a bar. Usually, you can tell just from looking at it from the outside. I would say that if you look at the building and you can imagine it being a house then you’re looking at a pub! Although this could possibly be argued but I’d say there would be only a few exceptions!

What type of people go to the pub?

Everyone! One of the great things about the UK pub culture is that everyone is welcome. There is no dress code and no judgement! Go into a pub in London and you will see people from all walks of life, if you love to study people then you won’t find a better position than sitting in a pub for your research! As Brits we grow up going to pubs as part of our social life, everyone has a local and that’s where we’d head as soon as we were old enough to drink! Whether it’s for a pub lunch or after work drinks, you will soon learn where the ‘local’ is to your place of work, it’s the place everyone goes to for after work drinks. But it’s not just for after work, usually the guests before a wedding will go to the local pub first before heading to the ceremony. A good friend of mine loved her local pub so much she chose to get married there, hiring out the whole venue, a brilliant day and night it was too!

Where are the pubs located?

Everywhere! Generally speaking, you don’t have to walk very far in a town or village to find a pub! Some villages even compete for the title of the most pubs by resident population, and it can be quite incredible. In fact one small city has a 365 pubs (apparently) one for each day of the year! Sadly, many pubs are closing down and losing the war against tougher competition. Some however are being rescued by the very community they served who band together and buy the pub, making it a community pub. Such a brilliant idea!

Pubs can be found in any location, wherever there were or are potential customers, a pub would be built! So they are generally everywhere!

England by far has the most pubs. Scotland tends to call their pubs inns, which historically meant that they also have accommodation. Though many pubs now have turned their staff accommodation into boutique hotel rooms. So many pubs are actually pub hotels or hotels with pubs!

What is it like to work in a pub?

It’s sociable! If you have ever worked front of house in a restaurant then you’ll know that whilst most people you serve will engage in polite chat, you rarely talk that much with your customers. In a pub it is very different, if you are working behind the bar then the locals (those are regular customers) will enjoy getting to know you. You’ll probably be the new bright shiny thing with your Aussie, Kiwi, Canadian (or wherever) accent! It will be equally enjoyable getting to know them too and it is one of the things we always hear from our BritBounders, how much they loved getting to know the locals!

Pubs can be like big families, they are generally quite a tight working unit with the teams often all socialising together after the pub has closed. As such being a team player will be important. The hours can be long, and it can be hard being on your feet all day. But it can also be tremendous fun, with after hour lock ins and regular events like quiz nights! Every pub will be different, so you really only find out when you get there!

How do I know if I will suit working in a pub?

This is a good question, how does anyone know they will suit anything?! By trying it! It is a fantastic experience and I highly recommend giving it a go but you know enough about yourself as to whether it is an option for you. We have had so many people do this experience and with all different backgrounds. But you should not be walking into anything without considering whether it is right for you, if you hate having to talk to people and hate the idea of serving alcohol or waiting on tables, then clearly this is not something you should be doing!!! The more open you are to this experience and the less pre-conceived ideas you have about it, the more enjoyable it will be.

Do you need any qualifications?

No, unlike some countries (like Australia), where you need to have a responsible service of alcohol licence, you do not need anything here, in terms of qualifications. Some pubs will ask you to have some hospitality or customer service experience, others are happy to train you up, provided you have a great personality and a natural flair for helping people. If you are reading this and thinking about coming in a year or two, perhaps you could get a job working in a local bar or restaurant before you come over, whilst you can apply without experience it would limit your options, so doing this would mean more pubs would be interested in chatting to you.

But as part of our role, we will only try and match you with pubs whose criteria fit you. After having a Skype chat with us (following purchase) we will then send you pubs that we think would suit your personality and the experience you are after.

Do I need a visa to apply for this experience?

If you do not have a British or European passport then the most likely answer here is you will need a visa but you can sign up to this experience either before or after. If you are engaging BritBound's assistance with your visa then you can add the visa assistance onto The Live-In Pub Job One in the Package Builder.To find out whether you qualify for a Tier 5 Visa which is the most popular visa choice if you're between 18 and 31, then read our article on this visa here.

If you would like our assistance with this visa then BritBound offers both a Guaranteed Tier 5 YMS Visa Service or a Tier 5 (YMS) Visa Checking Service. You can add either of these onto your package in the Package-Builder.

How will I know where I am working?

Once we have chatted to you, which we will do either by Skype or phone, we can discuss what sort of location and experience you’re after and what we think might suit you. You will then receive a short-list of pubs to choose from. Each pub will have a profile you can read through that will provide you with enough information we hope, to help you make your final decision. Remember however that pubs can’t create roles based on your arrival date! So you’ll need to have some flexibility in order to give yourself as much choice as possible!

What happens if I do not like any of the suggested options?

Firstly, this has never happened! But ultimately you need to be happy with your chosen option, so we would just keep sending you pubs (within reason!), if you reject every pub option that comes your way then I think we'd reconsider whether you were right for this experience! But I'd also add here that the more flexible and open to this experience you are, the more fun you'll have. If you wait for the perfect chocolate box pub in the English Countryside with ponies in the field next door...you could be waiting a long time!! So definitely have a wish list but keep it short and open to adaptions!

The great thing about how we organise things at BritBound is that you will ultimately make your decision, not us! We have done it like this for years and it works very well - it is putting you in a position where you have choice and can make an informed decision rather than plonking you in some pub (like most other companies do!) without you knowing anything about them!

You can research the locations, what's around, distance to other places. Consider what you want from the experience...do you want a party pub, a country pub, a city pub etc.Then decide which on the list you'd like to speak with - we will then put you in touch with the managers to arrange a Skype or phonecall...Then you can find out everything about them and the type of pub experience they are offering.

Then you make your decision.

Can I choose the location?

If you want to be placed in the village of Scratchy Bottom (yes, that is a real place), because your Great Aunt said it was a wonderful place, then you could be waiting forever for a role to come up. Firstly, not all pubs have accommodation and we only deal with those that do? Why? Well the wages are just not high enough here to make it worthwhile to work in a pub and live somewhere else (in our opinion). Secondly, when a pub or hotel calls us they might be after a female only because you will be living with other females. We can't influence this, which means you could ask for a pub in Leeds but for the month of your arrival all the pubs are asking for a male or vice versa.

What we think is more important is that you choose a pub that ticks several boxes, location, pub style, size, distance from things you can do on your day off, proximity to public transport, team dynamics, how welcoming the manager is on the phone or Skype call you have...

Are any of the pubs in London?

There are thousands of pubs in London, but many of them have converted their accommodation into either boutique hotel rooms or turned the whole floor into a dining room / restaurant. So getting a 'Live-In' pub job in London is not so easy. The problem too with having a pub job and finding your own accommodation is that the wages in the pubs are not very high, most are minimum wage. When accommodation is included (you still pay for it but its heavily subsidised) then you can actually make money!

If you are only interested in working in London then by all means contact us to discuss this but it's probably not the best way to about this option because you just won't have much choice, if any!

If you are keen to work in London then I would highly recommend the package option called The Live-in Pub and London Job One - this way we you can arrive and work in a pub somewhere outside of London and then we will help you with a guaranteed job in London once you're ready.

Will the job be confirmed before I leave home?

Yes, absolutely. We aim to confirm your pub between 6 and 2 weeks prior to your arrival. Most pubs work on a windy of around 4 weeks from advertising to filling the position. Sometimes BritBounders are travelling on a 2 month Topdeck Tour and might have to talk to a pub manager during their tour! But it all depends how early you sign up for the package and whether you are happy to commit to a pub a few months before you leave home. If that option is given to you.

Also, even though you will have a job offer and a start date we still recommend you head to London for a week first so we can meet you in person and prepare you for the final stage of moving to your pub or hotel. Things can and very occasionally do fall through, such as one time, a small family pub had a death in the family and had to close the business. These are anomalies but you should always be as understanding as you can in these situations. We have enough pubs to be able to start again quickly in the rare event this should happen.

How will I know my start date?

This is generally arranged between you and the pub/hotel manager. As mentioned above, we always recommending trying to get here a couple of weeks before your start date so that you can spend some time in London and giving us time to get the rest of your package in place. Also means you can have a bit of play time before starting work! So TIP - if you are able to, give the pub / hotel a start date that is a couple of weeks after you arrive here!

Can I arrive at any time of year?

There are job opportunities starting all through the year, however, most opportunities are available from March to November, so this is the best time to arrive. We have a 6 week blackout period from 15 December to 31st January each year because this is a very quiet time for pubs / hotels to be recruiting.

What types of jobs are normally available?

  • Chef - all types!
  • Bartender
  • Waiter
  • Customer service / front of house
  • Glass/plate collector
  • Cleaning
  • Housekeeping
  • Kitchen Hand / kitchen staff

Many jobs will be a mix of some of the above and opportunities will depend on your motivation, skills and experience. We will discuss this with you when we talk to you about the type of experience you are after.

Can I be placed in a pub with a friend or partner?

Yes, absolutely. You’ll just need to let us know after you’ve signed up as there is no way on our system to link bookings at the purchase stage. Also give us as much lead time as possible with this, there are a lot of pubs who prefer couples or two people together but it helps to have time to get your details circulated.

What are the normal working hours per week?

The hours can change each week (depending on demand), but the average is 35 to 45 hours per week. There is normally 2 days off per week, typically during the week so you would normally be working the weekends.

How long is the placement for?

The pub will ask for 4 to 6 months commitment. Many choose to stay longer. If you want to go and try another pub in a different location then we will help you, there is no fee if you want us to assist you again.

You do need to commit for the time that the pub asks you to. A pub manager will be turning other people away once they have offered you the role, then they will need to train you and help you settle in. So there is a lot of time and effort that goes into you becoming a member of the team.

If you have done your research (which we will help you with) then there should not be any reason for you to leave based on the pub location, style, proximity to other places and attractions. If for any reason you are unhappy, then you must get in touch and tell us why, so we can help you. A pub job is usually hard work but fun, and the fun part is very important!

How much will I be paid?

Typically you will earn £250-450 per week. Pay is dependent on the location, your age and the amount that particular pub pays. If there are any tips (don't get too excited, this is the UK!) they will be paid on top of this. Pay is usually monthly.

You will find that you generally do manage to save quite a lot, especially if you have chosen a rural location where there is less to spend your money on! But this won't apply to any shopaholics who, like me can find ways to spend money in a post office!

Where is the staff accommodation located?

In most pubs you will be living above the pub, you will usually have your own room unless you have opted to share (some people want to save money by sharing their room). Some pubs have a flat or house on-site, or close by. The type of accommodation will be detailed in the short-list we send you, so you can read about what the facilities are when comparing your final choices.

Is there a cost for the accommodation?

The normal average cost of accommodation is £35-£60 per week, per person. This will of course depend on the accommodation provided and whether you are sharing a room (only if you choose this option). Almost always the cost of the accommodation will be deducted weekly from your pay, so there are no upfront costs. This will communicated in the pub / hotel bio.

Is food included?

Most pubs will include meals when you are working. Again this will be detailed in the short-list we send to you. So you can read all about what is and is not included.

How to sign up to The Live-In Pub One Package

If you have any other questions please do e-mail us...that's what we are here for! See contact page for address.

If you’re ready to get the ball going then head to our Package-Builder and select The Live-In Pub One– and add on anything else that you feel you need. We will then be in touch with additional information and to request a time to chat with you.

If you sign up for The Live-In Pub One:-

  1. You will then have access to your My.BritBound Portal where you can get all the various elements of your membership package underway.
  2. We will then e-mail you the requirements to get the Live-In Pub Job underway. This will include preparing a CV and answering some questions.
  3. Once we receive this we will then arrange a Skype or Phone chat to talk through this experience in more detail and get more of an idea about your needs, wants and desires!
  4. Following on from this we will then send you a link so you can start selecting the areas and experiences that interest you the most. You can then carry out some research to look at their location etc (we will send you a list of what we recommend you research and consider). If we have other BritBounders past or present working there we will ask if you would like to speak to them about their experience.
  5. Managers from your chosen venues, who are interested in speaking to you about working there will then be in touch to chat to you further.
  6. Once you've accepted a position / been accepted then we will send you out your Pub Info Pack so you can further prepare for the exciting experience ahead!

Fun times ahead! Any questions please just e-mail us!