A pub on every corner
If you’ve heard the saying ‘there’s a pub on every corner’–well, it’s true. Even if you haven’t pulled a beer before the guv’nor (the owner or manager of the pub) may take you on (maybe only on a trial basis) to see how you cope with serving crowds, using the tills and eftpos machines and how well you interact with customers, especially the locals. Sometimes they also take on couples.
If you already work in a bar (or if you don’t – yet) you will know that bar work involves serving drinks (mostly pulling pint after half pint after pint), having knowledge of mixed drinks, using the tills, collecting glasses, wiping tables, making sure the bar is clean, cellar work, possibly preparing counter meals and cleaning ashtrays.
Many travellers find a position in London however, positions can be found all over the UK as every town has a pub or two. You may find yourself working in quintessential English settings in buildings hundreds of years old with historical names – what an experience!
Live-in or Live-out
Live-in bar work is popular – which takes care of finding a job and a place to live in the one go. The hours can be long and often hard but it is a great way to meet people. You will receive a small wage, free or subsidised accommodation which might be your own room or you may share it with another employee and meals (usually only while you’re on duty).
Live-in employees can expect to receive a wage of about £250+ per week in London and about £20 less in the rest of the UK. Some pubs pay an hourly rate of around £10+ per hour. You may also get tips on top of your wage. Hours can be long and you may be working evenings and weekends.
TIPS: Beers are not served with much of a head in the UK so practise pouring them this way. Also, ice isn’t put into drinks automatically, so ask the punter if they would like ice. Use a clean glass for each drink unless the customer hands their old glass back to you which you may refill–check with the supervisor about this.
Bar work can be found by door knocking, through classifieds in the evening paper, social media sites and you could also register with an employment agency. Some organisations can arrange a job for you before you arrive – but usually charge a fee for the service. Check out: Live-in Jobs www.livein-jobs.co.uk, London Pub Co www.londonpub.com.au, London Pub Jobs www.londonpubjobs.co.uk
If in need of short-term (or long-term) accommodation while waiting for a job I recommend Hostel World and/or Hotels Combined.
About the Author: Sharyn McCullum lived in London for close on 4 years. She worked in a pub casually and enjoyed the experience. She now calls Melbourne home. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org