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Joanne's Journey to Operations Manager

Charley  Young our consultant managing the role

With an impressive background in the world of hospitality, Joanne wanted a role which would allow her more freedom; she found herself knocking at the doors of Greene King. 

Starting as a General Manager, Joanne thrived on the joy of providing exceptional service to each and every customer who walked into her pub. 

To Joanne, the growth and development of her team were at the very core of her journey. Her genuine commitment to increasing their potential ignited a profound passion for empowering others. 

Today Joanne stands as a beacon of inspiration, leading a team of dynamic business development managers. 


“I had worked in hospitality for 14 years with TGI Fridays and wanted a change where I would work in a pub, rather than a restaurant. Greene King stood out and seemed like a great company to work for. 

I knew that Greene King had local pubs all around the country and thought this would be an opportunity to drive sales as a pub manager in my own way.”

We’ll hand you the keys to your own success so you can create great pub experiences, bring your ideas to life, and grow as a leader. And that’s not all, you’ll be getting rewarded for all your hard work. 


General Manager 

“I've worn several hats during my time at Greene King, starting as a General Manager (or what I like to call a Pub Landlady) in two local pubs. My role was a blend of overseeing P&L, team development, and ensuring every guest had an amazing experience.”

Operational Food Trainer 

“From there, I transitioned into an Operational Food Trainer, akin to today's food and drink coaches, focusing on new menu implementation, kitchen operations and margins.” 

Business Development Manager 

“After a year in this capacity, I moved up the ladder, becoming a Business Development Manager (BDM), supervising and mentoring GMs in a cluster of 15 pubs to hit performance targets.”

Operations Manager

“Following a rewarding 6 and a half years as a BDM, I stepped into the role of Operations Manager, steering a team of 7 BDMs to achieve great results and nurturing their career growth, all while contributing to the strategic direction of my division.”


“My entire career has been in managed pubs— both local and urban. However, I've had the privilege of delving into different parts of the business through my connections across different divisions and support teams. 

Learning and growing alongside these incredible individuals have been the cornerstone of my career journey.

Over my 13 years at GK, I've always felt the support. Certain standout folks I've crossed paths with have not only inspired me but vocally championed my growth. The culture at Greene King where everyone supports one another to progress cannot be underestimated.

Programs like Wingman and Elevate were real game-changers, especially in shaping my leadership skills.”

Whether you start crafting your journey in a bustling pub or take your first steps in an office, the possibilities are diverse and exciting. 

From honing your skills at the heart of our establishments to exploring leadership roles and beyond, the path is yours to navigate. 


“I love that our guests come to us to have a good time and I find joy in shaping their experience. We’ve got great people delivering great experiences at Greene King.”

At Greene King, our values help to steer us along our journey towards becoming the pride of British hospitality. 

One of our values is a customer-first approach which means customers are at the heart of everything we do. 


“At Greene King, the options are endless! I mean, unless you're eyeing brain surgery (let's leave that to the pros!), there's a whole world of opportunities. 

It's not just about beer and burgers—think HR, Legal, Audit, Marketing, Risk, food development, guest relations, ER, and the list goes on! 

With such a massive company, you've got tons of ways to grow and shape your career.” 

Unlock endless career opportunities with Greene King 

In a nutshell, Greene King is a hub of endless growth and progress. There's a seat at the table for anyone eager to forge ahead. 

Whether you're keen on the pub scene or eyeing a strategic business role, we've got room for your ambition. 

Take that leap, apply, and let's unlock your career potential together. 

Why did you join Greene King?

I had worked in hospitality for 14 years with TGI Fridays, I wanted a change to work in pubs not restaurants and thought Greene King as a business looked like a good company to work for. I specifically chose local pubs because of the freedom to drive sales as a pub manager in my own way.

Summarise your career at Greene King and the different roles you have had .

I was a General Manager (or Pub Landlady as I think of it) for 4 and a half years in 2 different local pubs - with overall accountability for the P&L, development of the team and most importantly ensuring all the guests had a brilliant time. 

I was then the Operational Food trainer - which is similar to the current food and drink coaches - involved in new menu implementation, kitchen operations and margins. I did this coaching role for a year, working directly with GMs, KMs and supporting their BDMs. 

Next came Designate BDM, then BDM (Business Development Manager) - which is managing and coaching the GMs in an area of around 15 pubs to deliver great results across the dartboard. 

After 6 and a half years of being a BDM, I became an Operations Manager - leading a group of 7 BDMs to deliver great results and developing them in their careers, whilst supporting the strategic direction of my division.

How has your experience across a variety of the Greene King brands supported your growth/career progression?

I've only ever worked directly in managed pubs - locals and urbans, but have experienced lots of different parts of the business through connections in each of our divisions and support teams. I have always learned so much from spending time with people in other parts of the business and grown as my career progresses.

How has Greene King supported you in your career progression?

I have always felt supported, but some key people I have come into contact with over my time with GK have really inspired and backed me publicly which has helped my progression. 

There has been a number of different development or leadership courses that I have had the opportunity to be involved in over the last 13 years I've worked for GK - Wingman and Elevate in particular stand out as supporting leadership development. 

What I've always found is great people that have coached me along the way - sometimes with no agenda or responsibility to - and that culture in GK of supporting colleagues to progress can't be underestimated.

What is your favourite thing about working in hospitality?

I love that our guests come to us to have a good time and at the end of the day I like being able to influence the guest experience - through great people delivering great service in great pubs.

What would you say to someone considering a career at Greene King?

There are so many parts to Greene King that whatever someone aspires to do, they can probably do it in Greene King (apart from Brain surgery - that's best left to the professionals) 

Its Beer and burgers - but so much more to do within that - HR, Legal, Audit, Marketing, Risk, food development, guest relations, ER etc etc. with so many parts to the business and such a big company it gives tonnes of development and career options.

Charley  Young our consultant managing the role


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