Paid to be in the Pub … Is This the Best Job in the World?

By Greene King, PRNE
Sunday, October 30, 2011

BURY ST. EDMUNDS, England, October 31, 2011 -

This week is British Pub Week (28 Oct - 6 Nov) and the ideal excuse to make an extra visit to the local to celebrate everything that is great about a proper pub.

But for a secret army of mystery shoppers, popping in for a swift one is simply part of a day’s work as they are paid to make over 12,000 visits to pubs each year to test the quality of food, drink and the atmosphere.

The undercover agents take notes on various aspects of their visit including the warmth of the welcome they receive from bar staff, and how knowledgeable the pub’s team is on the range of beers and wines on offer. 

Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King, which runs around 2,400 pubs in the UK, said that by getting regular reports on how the company’s pubs are doing helps the brewer and national pub retailer keep on delivering what pub-goers want. 

But he said that the company wasn’t looking for a one-size-fits-all approach to pubs and that there is a need for different pubs for different types of people.

“The proper British pub meets timeless human needs of company, community and good food and drink which is why it survives and will continue to do so.  But some people like somewhere they can take their family for Sunday lunch, while to others a “proper pub” is all about somewhere to socialise in the evening with their friends. Others still want the relaxing surroundings of a log fire, comfy sofas and a glass of wine,” he added.

Feedback from customers and the mystery shoppers has helped Greene King tailor its offer to customers - an approach that has paid off with the company scooping a number of national awards in recent months including the Branded Food Operator of the Year and Food Concept of the Year trophies at the 2011 Great British Pub Food awards.

To see what pub landlords and ladies think about what makes a proper pub go to the Investors & Media / Media Library or or follow Greene King on Twitter @GreeneKing


Notes to editors

Greene King was founded in 1799 and is headquartered in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. It currently employs around 20,000 people across its main trading divisions: Retail, Pub Partners and Brewing and Brands. It operates over 2,400 pubs and restaurants across England, Wales and Scotland. Its leading retail brands are Hungry Horse, Old English Inns, Eating Inn and Loch Fyne Restaurants. Greene King also brews quality ale brands from its Bury St. Edmunds and Dunbar breweries. Its leading ale brands are Greene King IPA, the No.1 cask ale in the UK, Old Speckled Hen, the No.1 premium ale in the UK, Abbot Ale, the No.1 premium cask ale in the UK and Belhaven Best, the No.1 ale brand in Scotland.

Press information

Please contact Donna Chessum at Tribe PR on +44(0)1603-417722 or


will not be displayed