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Steve tells us his story: “I’ve worked my way up from being in admin for a pub company to general manager in pubs. I remember thinking I could do this for myself, so when the opportunity arose with Everards, I took it and I haven’t looked back!” says Steve, “The Old Crown is a drinker’s pub, it’s in a lovely location and I ran it before I took it on as my own business. Everards later approached me to hold The Plume for them, despite being a long way from the Crown I accepted the challenge and I discovered this too was a great pub, I got a great manager and have worked hard to make it a success and kept it on as a second pub. I have another pub, which is a freehold and I’m also holding The Rose & Crown in Histon for Everards whilst they find someone to give it a new lease of life as a coffee shop come pub that caters more for the needs of the village surrounding it. It’s a welcoming village Histon and anyone looking to bring the vision to life will be happy there.

I have been lucky to recruit amazing managers and that’s what has made it such a success, I let my managers run them as their own and I work with them to make sure it’s successful. If anyone out there is thinking of growing their business and running multiple pubs my top tip would be to make sure you have a trustworthy manager that you have a great relationship with. The recruitment part was the hardest part, but I got lucky first time with my selection. The Crown and The Plume are completely different pubs and so I have managers with different skill sets to run them to the best they can be.

I believe that everything can be done remotely and Covid has really proven this. I pop to the pubs frequently, but I don’t need to be their daily. We hold video calls, chat on the phone and I can see everything via CCTV on my phone if I need to. I’m lucky that I have this way of working in place already as Covid has caused massive disruption to businesses who are not used to working digitally or virtually with their teams – we have proven that it does and can work if you keep the communication alive and regular."

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I love running multiple pubs and I am looking to grow my portfolio to five, a number I feel is manageable for me without overstretching myself. Steve Thornton,
Multiple operator - The Plume of Feathers, The Old Crown and The Rose & Crown
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