Pub-restaurants are defined by Keynote (2004) as anywhere with a dedicated unit (i.e room) in a pub offering eat-in-dining facilities. Those venues offering bar snacks and light refreshments are exempt from this definition. Branding of outlets, such as those in the pub-restaurant market, have grown extensively since the mid 1970s, and in 2002, the branded pub-restaurant market had grown to hold a 8.9% share of the total restaurant market. Annual sales within the pub-restaurant market have shown progressive growth between 1998 and 2003, although growth between 2001-2003 slowed due to an increase in competition (Key Note, 2004). Key players within the branded pub-restaurant market include Whitbread PLC with their Brewers Fayre, Brewsters and Beefeater brands, the Spirit Group with brands such as Chef and Brewer, Tom Cobleigh, Big Steak Pub, Two for One, Country Carvery, Homespreads and Old Orleans, Mitchells and Butlers which have Vintage Inns, Harvester and Toby Carvery within their brand portfolio, and Greene King, which own the Hungry Horse outlets (Pub Industry Handbook, 2003).
A General Manager may not be directly involved in all operations of the business, but they still maintain responsibility for all of its activities (Stoner and Freeman, 1992). The skills, abilitites, knowledge, attitudes and conduct required for an individual to be a succesful general manager (see appendix 1), are referred to collectively as comptencies (Brophy and Kiely, 2002; Emiliani, 2003). The competencies of importance to managers can be collated and incorporated into a competency model that highlights the behavioural (or personal) and functional (or technical) characteristics required to be a succesful manager in the pub-restaurant trade. Behavioural competencies are concerned solely with the attitudes and conduct of the individual, whereas technical competencies refer to the knowledge, skills and abilities of the individual (Bucks Consultants,1998).
There are existing studies on competencies of importance to succesful general managers in various industries, including that of hospitality, such as those by Christou and Eaton (1997), Kay and Rusette (2000), Ladkin (1999), etc., but these generally focus on hotel management. There are minimal, if any, available competence studies for general managers of branded pub-restaurants in the UK.
The identification of competencies that are of importance to succesful branded pub-restaurant general managers, and the consequent formulation of a competency model, will benefit employers within the industry, prospective pub-restaurant managers, and educational bodies. Employers within the industry will benefit because it will enable them to adapt their recruitment processes to employ more suitable general managers, and also enable them to design better training programmes that will develop the core competences necessary for effectiveness in the job. Prospective pub-restaurant managers will benefit from a competency model, because they will gain greater understanding of what will be required of them, which will allow them to establish objectives and strategies for achieving these targets. Educational bodies will benefit from a competency model for branded pub-restaurant managers because it will aid the development of their curriculum, with courses that better prepare pub-restaurant managers for their profession.
Research Aims (Hypotheses/Research Questions)
The aim of this study is:-
To develop a competency model for general managers of pub-restaurant chains within the UK.
In order to fulfil the aims the following research questions were addressed:-
- What competences are considered important for pub-restaurant managers to enable them to be effective in their job role?
- What importance should be assigned to each competence?