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The Big Day

The Big Day
Consult your solicitor (lease assignments only)
Ensure you have completed, or are in the process of completing. Your solicitor will advise you on progress.
Monitor the valuation of stock
Ensure you/somebody follows the stocktaker around (especially if joint) to ensure fair play. Stock will include wet, dry, snacks, glassware, cleaning materials and consumables e.g. till rolls, light bulbs. Do not accept any out of date stock. Make sure you get a copy of the closing stock count in detail. This will form your opening stock at your next stock take.
Agree the final settlement and make payment to the outgoing tenant or lessee. Your business development manager or broker will control all change day payments between the outgoing and incoming lessee as well as the monies owed to the Company.
Check inventory
You/the valuer will need to walk the pub with the agreed inventory to ensure all items are in place. Pubs are renowned for hoarding junk in basements, lofts and out-houses. Ensure you agree what belongs to you. A small skip on the day of change is sometimes a good idea.
The inventory check will ensure all the equipment is there. Ask for a demonstration as this will double as a check to ensure it is working and you understand its use. Use the equipment checklist as reference.
Beer Dispense Equipment
Tour the cellar and understand the equipment. Ascertain that it is all working correctly. Ascertain the last time the pipes were cleaned.
You may wish to zero tills back to nil so that you clearly identify yourself as a new operator with staff. The tills may have a maintenance number on them. If not, contact a local cash register supplier. Ensure you know how to operate the tills, including relevant management functions. Ensure you have organised till floats and change.
Make sure you know where all meters are and agree readings. This may be for gas/electricity/water. Make the necessary phone calls to register readings. Where other forms of fuel are used, e.g. coal/oil/gas cylinders, you will need to organise a valuation of the stock.
Light switches
Make sure you know where all the light switches are located and which switches operate which lights.
Fuse boards
Make sure you know where they are and that you understand the system. If appropriate, make sure you have spare fuses. calculated on your rateable value and can start at 75 per month. This is a significant cost, so be sure it is necessary.
Stopcocks & main switches
(Hot and cold water, gas and electricity). Make sure you know where they are and how to operate them.
Legal notices
Dependent on the scenario in which you are taking over, there may be numerous notices missing. In the short-term, ensure you have got price lists, measures, 18's, tobacco and licensing boards on display.
Prior to the day of change you will have enquired about pre-booked events. Ensure you take receipt of all booking books and make a mental note of new ones since you last enquired. Ensure you receive all deposits paid, club funds and charity boxes.
Before the outgoing lessee leaves, make sure you have all the keys and that you know which is which. Colour coding can help and maintains security.
Living quarters
Ensure they are left in a satisfactory condition and you know where things are.
Forwarding address
Make sure you get the forwarding address and phone number of the outgoing lessee.
Making an impression
On the day of change, particularly if you are not altering anything major, try to show an immediate point of difference. A thorough clean would be a good start, followed by staff uniforms and flowers etc.
On or near to the day of change you are likely to get numerous visitors, e.g. EHO, licensing justices, police, fire brigade, brewery personnel etc. A lot depends on what you are actually doing to the pub. Just be forewarned. Also, unwanted visitors, e.g. sales reps, may bombard you either personally or by phone.
Flowers and a cup of tea
Ensure you buy your partner a present - they have probably been through hell. And remember to pack the kettle on top!

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