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Pub Industry Veteran Neil Moore Reflects on 40 Years of Pub Management in New Book

today21 February 2024 34 5

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Pub Industry Veteran Neil Moore Reflects on 40 Years of Pub Management in New Book

The Bitterest PLC To Swallow

In an exclusive radio interview with Ginger and Nuts, Neil Moore, author of “The Bitterest PLC To Swallow,” shared insights into his four-decade-long journey managing pubs and witnessing the industry’s evolution.

Listen to the full interview

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    NEIL PUB Ginger and Nuts

With a hint of nostalgia in his voice, Neil remarked on how swiftly 40 years had passed, emphasising the significant transformations the pub industry had undergone during his tenure. He candidly revealed that the inspiration behind writing his book was the recent lockdown, which left him ample time to reflect on the changes he had witnessed.

Recalling the earlier days when family businesses like Whitbread still held sway in the industry, Neil lamented the shift towards a more financially driven market. He expressed his concerns about how modern PLCs prioritise extracting profits from the industry without reinvesting them, a sentiment encapsulated in the title of his book.

Delving into the past, Neil painted a vivid picture of pub culture in the ’70s and ’80s, juxtaposing the carefree atmosphere with the stark realities of overcrowded, smoke-filled pubs with minimal ventilation—an image that seems unimaginable in today’s health and safety-conscious world.

When probing about the challenges pub owners, workers, and customers faced, Neil pointed towards the ever-changing landscape of regulations as a significant hurdle. He recounted a costly episode from 1996 when a European mandate required pubs to maintain fridges at a maximum of five degrees. This led to a substantial financial investment that proved futile when the legislation was repealed.

As Neil’s anecdotes flowed effortlessly, it became evident that his book not only chronicles the industry’s transformation but also serves as a cautionary tale highlighting the challenges and complexities faced by those immersed in the world of pubs.

Neil recalled a bizarre incident in Manchester many years ago when asked about funny stories. He recounted encountering a man dancing on a coffee table, impressing two young ladies, only to reveal a submachine gun hidden under his suit jacket. Neil’s quick thinking and the comical response of giving the man 10 minutes before calling the police added a touch of humour to the otherwise tense situation. The man disappeared but was later apprehended a few years later and sent to prison.

Reflecting on his experiences running a pub in Blackpool, Neil shared a jaw-dropping detail about a glass-floored pub where patrons could see upskirt views from below the dance floor on the first level. Such unconventional features added to the eccentric charm of his establishments, like having hot tubs in one of his pubs where customers would gleefully toss him in every year.

Transitioning to the purpose of his book, Neil explained that aside from sharing entertaining anecdotes, his book aims to help those in the retail industry navigate the challenges posed by major retail companies seeking to cut wages and exploit workers. He described revealing the deceptive tactics employed by these corporations and providing advice on avoiding pitfalls that could harm employees.

Through his memoir, Neil hopes to capture the essence of pubs of the ’80s and ’90s, blending humorous and cringe-worthy tales while shedding light on the harsh realities faced by retail workers today. His narrative balances nostalgia and practical advice, offering a unique and engaging perspective on the retail trade landscape.

Written by: Kat Y (Ginge)

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