If you are in the market for a pub you may be looking around at existing assets to see how you could improve profitability. Here are some ways that you can make money from a pub, that you may be able to look at for the properties you are viewing.
Obviously, the traditional role of a hotel was providing lodgings. You may be able to increase utilisation of the current rooms by better marketing (targeting business customers for weekdays and leisure customers for the weekend). If the current room utilisation rate is low you may want to look at the furnishings in each room and see whether they need an upgrade so that this pub can compete with other local accommodation options.
Food and beverage
The next area to look at is food and beverage. You may be able to reposition the pub restaurants and cafes so that you can get a higher rate of people through the venue and higher margins. Using local seasonal produce and having regular specials and themed events can be a good way to get locals back through the restaurant. It's often possible to bring people back into a venue with a great new menu.
Consider also broadening your takeaway options, so that people who don't want to cook that night have the option to grab one of your tasty meals to eat at home. Takeaway is very revenue friendly as you don't need to provide amenities such as tables and chairs and hence can get more throughput in the restaurant.
Many gamblers like a chance to head to the pub and have a few drinks, while placing a bet on their favourite game. If sports are already a feature at the bar, becoming an agent for a betting agency can be a good way to increase revenue. You can also try offering new gambling option, as many punters have broadened their horizons over the years and now follow international sports including ice hockey, MMA and American football. Of course localised betting and promotions such as happy hours where you toss a coin to see if you can get your drink for half price are also very popular with gamblers.
When looking at pubs for sale it can be useful to keep an open mind about ways to increase the potential revenue of the business. By looking at a range of businesses that aren't currently very profitable you might be able to grab a bargain.