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Dont buy a bar in spain

Dont buy a bar in spain

Old Dec 1st 2008, 8:18 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Sorry to hear your bad fortune Michael and Dawn.

To be honest I really don't know why people actually think that opening a bar in Spain is a good idea, in saying this my parents bought into a small one (British owned) but that was over 30 years ago (1976) when there where not many English speaking bars around, it was a good business for them and 2 families livings where covered from it. Come 1986 (or there abouts) I worked in a business that involved visiting over 100 bars on the Costa del Sol every 2 weeks and by this time things where starting to change, many more bars where opening and as the years went by I watched on 'sadly' as people turned into alcoholics, marriages broke up and in some cases the actual bars turned into a place to sleep for some of the owners as they ran out of money. I with my business partner used to watch as people/families would continually come here with their retirement money and without any research or knowledge of running a bar would invest every penny they had in a bar, even people who lived here and could see this happening would buy them.
We used to chat a lot about what made people continually do this after it ruined so many people and families, they must have heard about the number of failed ventures? We didn't really get to a solution from our chats but we kind of came to the conclusion that it was a British mans dream to be a publican, maybe even a status thing, I get the feeling that we Brits seem to look up to publicans in envy and want to be one, this of course was much more difficult in the UK if not impossible because of licensing laws and investment so maybe that's why they would come to Spain to seek their dream of status/position/publican!

Here we are 20 odd years down the line and people are still coming here to open a bar and there are * thousands * more bars between say Torremolinos and Fuengirola now (never mind the rest of the coast) than there was then! I am not a bar owner and have only ever worked and drank in them but I really do not understand why people even consider doing this without at least:

1) Having the right personality for a bar (Friendly, humorous, outgoing and warm).
2) Researching the area over time summer and winter (Even this can change in 1 year).
3) Have knowledge on how to run a business.
4) Know how to deal with people 'PR'.
5) Know what is involved in how to run a bar.
6) Have financial back up, it will be a very unique bar/business if you make any money in your first year.
7) Be sure you will enjoy working with people, yes even when you have worked 15 hours that day and drunken Paddy in the corner won't shut up.
8) Be sure you can work in a bar and also avoid having a tipple while there.

Running a bar in Spain is not as simple as it seems, even back in the days when my parents where involved in a small one. The bar was open 6 days a week and had 4 adults working there in 2 day shifts, myself and my sister also gave a hand at times and eventually they employed a barman full time to help. My parents or their partners where * Never * not behind the bar except to get glasses and clean tables, they opened for 3 hours each afternoon but where there from 9 am every day they worked and rarely got home before 1pm but could be as late as 2 or 3 in the morning although they both really enjoyed it.

I am not saying you guys did not know how to run a bar, I just say this so that people might start to understand that having a bar is not a golden path to a sweet life in Spain.

BTW, Why don't you post the 'opinions' you have so others can read them without having to go through contacting you, it would be interesting to know what your feelings and reasons for things not working are.

I got a part time job in a bar when I was 15 and I was worked to the bone most Saturday and Sunday nights (Golf club), I loved the social side with the other bar staff and the customers but it was really hard work, maybe I was lucky to see this at a young age because from the other side of the bar it didn't look like the work was too hard. On a side note: maybe it might help people who where thinking of going into the bar trade to actually go and work in one for a while just to get an eye opener to what is actually involved.

Sorry to seem to ramble on a bit, anyway... once again, sorry to hear your bad fortune and hope that people read these posts and hopefully do not fall into the same trap.

Last edited by Econ; Dec 1st 2008 at 8:29 am.
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 8:48 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Sorry to hear you had a bad time micheal and dawn, can i ask what you think went wrong?
Hope everythings better for you now you're back in the UK.
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 9:16 am
  #33  
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Econ, your observations are all spot on. But they are rolled out on every forum by those of us who have owned bars/pubs every time somebody posts about buying a bar in Spain and will continue to be rolled out on every future occasion until we are blue in the face because I think you're right when you say,
Originally Posted by Econ
we kind of came to the conclusion that it was a British mans dream to be a publican, maybe even a status thing, I get the feeling that we Brits seem to look up to publicans in envy and want to be one, this of course was much more difficult in the UK if not impossible because of licensing laws and investment so maybe that's why they would come to Spain to seek their dream of status/position/publican!
and people just don't want their illusions shattered regarding what the trade/being a publican is really like.

The same goes for your advice,
Originally Posted by Econ
it might help people who where thinking of going into the bar trade to actually go and work in one for a while just to get an eye opener to what is actually involved.
but people think there's nothing more to it than pulling a few pints and being a genial host...
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 9:31 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

so what's this all about then?
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 9:48 am
  #35  
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by Hillybilly
Econ, your observations are all spot on. But they are rolled out on every forum by those of us who have owned bars/pubs every time somebody posts about buying a bar in Spain and will continue to be rolled out on every future occasion until we are blue in the face because I think you're right when you say,

and people just don't want their illusions shattered regarding what the trade/being a publican is really like.

The same goes for your advice,

but people think there's nothing more to it than pulling a few pints and being a genial host...
I understand what you are saying Hillbilly but I do find it frustrating and hard to believe there is the number of people who still try to do this. Hopefully there is at least some people will listen and learn before it is too late.
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 10:24 am
  #36  
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
so what's this all about then?
A sad tale
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 10:27 am
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by Mitzyboy
A sad tale
I can quite believe it....
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 10:37 am
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
I can quite believe it....
You'd better!
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 10:38 am
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by Mitzyboy
You'd better!
or what baldy??!!
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
or what baldy??!!
I'll get stroppy
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 10:40 am
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by Mitzyboy
I'll get stroppy
how will we tell?
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 10:46 am
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by rugbymatt
how will we tell?
good point
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Old Dec 1st 2008, 10:49 am
  #43  
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by Mitzyboy
good point
so is a spear....
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Old Dec 2nd 2008, 6:07 am
  #44  
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Running a bar in Spain is not as simple as it seems, even back in the days when my parents where involved in a small one. The bar was open 6 days a week and had 4 adults working there in 2 day shifts, myself and my sister also gave a hand at times and eventually they employed a barman full time to help. My parents or their partners where * Never * not behind the bar except to get glasses and clean tables, they opened for 3 hours each afternoon but where there from 9 am every day they worked and rarely got home before 1pm but could be as late as 2 or 3 in the morning although they both really enjoyed it.

I am not saying you guys did not know how to run a bar, I just say this so that people might start to understand that having a bar is not a golden path to a sweet life in Spain.
Good points. I think the major disadvantage to running a bar in Spain (in fact anywhere) is that if you are successful, you'll be working extremely long and hard hours. I think a couple I know who run an Irish-type pub in Madrid have got it right - they've got fixed hours and make sure they knock-off when their shift's finished. They also make sure to have differing shifts so they can have some space from each other. Of course they also have the advantage of being bi-lingual, so this place attracts both Spanish and Brits. I must admit I don't know how people make resort bars pay their way. Often the main trade is compressed into 4 or 5 months*. Plus there's so much competition - try selling a British breakfast in these places for more than a few Euros and the next-door bar will steal your business. In cities like Barcelona or Madrid you can charge a decent mark-up and still get the British expats and weekend travellers in for a fry-up.

* In the big cities it's generally August and January that are the quiet times; many places shut up shop completely in August.
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Old Dec 2nd 2008, 7:07 am
  #45  
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Default Re: Dont buy a bar in spain

Originally Posted by fionamw
[QUOTE=poshnbucks;7024393]Jurdyr Does this mean you can put your towel on ANY sunbed you desire. Do not Menshan ze sunbed ya ya ya

...but not in Benidorm, not without a full wallet anyways....

Struggling to decide which if either side of the fence to come down on. I think the bottom line is if I were them & read this thread through (which I'm sure they are) they may feel a little sorry for having posted & seeing a number of negative comments about them not having taken advice. It's not nice to fail, but as several have said, there's a good case to be made for 'you can't regret things you've done, only those you haven't'. In our house my OH doesn't like it one bit if he give me advice about something & I don't take it - well I'm sorry tough. It's my choice to weigh up all the pros & cons & take advice or not. It doesn't mean I don't value his opinion, doesn't mean I'm not grateful for the advice, & it doesn't mean I won't realise my error/foolishness/ineptitude/bad luck or whatever, if necessary, some way down the line. I see this as the same. Don't anyone ever stop asking for advice, don't stop giving it, but don't expect everyone to take it. At least they've 'fessed up.


Well put Fiona - thank you
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