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New member and advice!

New member and advice!

Old Mar 15th 2019, 5:22 pm
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Default New member and advice!

Hi Ladies and Gents,

First post on this forum. The reason I joined is we are considering moving to Spain. I understand that Brexit might throw a spanner in the works but it would be nice to put my plan to you and see the response.
We are selling up in the UK at the moment. No strangers to moving around and living in other Countries.
OK, we are looking to relocate to a place that has a high concentration of British ex-pats. We want to open a small bar/ restaurant. My Wife is a chef in an award winning Chinese, Asian restaurant here in Scotland and we want to open a British Chinese, Asian restaurant and takeaway.
We have a go to list that includes other Countries. We have a teenage family.
Looking for advice on all aspects of opening a business and most importantly areas that have lots of British ex-pats. The business would be aimed at Brits that love Chinese food the same as they got back Home.
Thank you in advance.
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Old Mar 15th 2019, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Well I think are going to be told that there is pretty steep competition when it comes to this. I live in Torrevieja and the areas around here where the expats live is chock full of Chinese restaurants. They are mostly run by Chinese families and this probably accounts for how they survive. Unfortunately the name of the game is price. Cheap. Forget high quality in the high density expat areas. If you are going to be at the top end you need to consider more affluent areas where you probably professionals and not so ex pat. Anyway you obviously know the business side of things so I guess you need to come out and take a look. Brush up on your Spanish you won't survive without it. Good luck and hopefully we might have a bit more time until Brexit
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Old Mar 15th 2019, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Originally Posted by 1sexsmith
Well I think are going to be told that there is pretty steep competition when it comes to this. I live in Torrevieja and the areas around here where the expats live is chock full of Chinese restaurants. They are mostly run by Chinese families and this probably accounts for how they survive. Unfortunately the name of the game is price. Cheap. Forget high quality in the high density expat areas. If you are going to be at the top end you need to consider more affluent areas where you probably professionals and not so ex pat. Anyway you obviously know the business side of things so I guess you need to come out and take a look. Brush up on your Spanish you won't survive without it. Good luck and hopefully we might have a bit more time until Brexit
Hi 1sexsmith,
Thank you for your reply.
I've been to Spain many times and I know there's plenty Chinese restaurants. This would certainly be different. There would be dishes on the menu that would be unique to us. In Her current place, people travel 100s miles just to come and eat in it. On a busy night they cook for over 800 customers, it's that good. just two chefs and 9 kitchen staff. She's one of the chefs. I can safely say our menu would be unique. As well as the old takeaway favourites, it would have many new fusion dishes. Dishes between Chinese and Thai, mega popular over here. What She cooks at the moment.
I'd be interested to know if there's any 'British Chinese' places in Spain. Certain ingredients would need to be sourced from the UK but that's doable.
Along with Spain we have Eire on our go to list. But we like the nice weather, somewhere like Spain preferable!
Language could be a problem I guess.
Just mulling it over. I've lived and worked in over 20 Countries in my younger years, we're not afraid to move around and take a gamble.
We'd also offer a takeaway service, not just a sit in restaurant.
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Old Mar 16th 2019, 10:55 am
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Default Re: New member and advice!

The Costas need another Chinese restaurant like the Irish need Brexit. If I were to give you one bit of advice it would be:- Do not sell up in the UK - repeat - Do not sell up in the UK.

By all means try Spain, but leave plenty of room for a dignified retreat. You've been warned, I've seen them come and go and there nothing worse than seeing somebody leaving Spain in tears and broke.
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Old Mar 16th 2019, 11:15 am
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Originally Posted by Leper
The Costas need another Chinese restaurant like the Irish need Brexit. If I were to give you one bit of advice it would be:- Do not sell up in the UK - repeat - Do not sell up in the UK.

By all means try Spain, but leave plenty of room for a dignified retreat. You've been warned, I've seen them come and go and there nothing worse than seeing somebody leaving Spain in tears and broke.
lol... Thanks for your advice, that wouldn't happen, we have property in other Countries.
Not all Chinese Asian restaurants are the same. If there's Brits I'm certain we can have their custom. I just need to find the areas best suited to us.
Cheers.




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Old Mar 16th 2019, 11:49 am
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Default Re: New member and advice!

This smells of desperation. That leads to bad decisions. Sounds like you have a good thing going in the UK.
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Old Mar 16th 2019, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by tom169
This smells of desperation. That leads to bad decisions. Sounds like you have a good thing going in the UK.
Hi, desperation? No not at all. We enjoy living in sunny climates. We have moved and lived around for quite some time now. Looking at somewhere different and interested in Spain. The UK is somewhere we don't like living in. I'm looking for advice on places in Spain. A good friend of ours lived in Lanzarote for 20 years, he recommends somewhere in that area. I shall continue my research. So far, three negative replies.
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Old Mar 16th 2019, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Originally Posted by RJG2019
So far, three negative replies.
If you ask for information on a public forum, you're going to get a range of replies. The first reply offered some information that sounds very useful to someone seeking to start a business in a country they're not familiar with.

If it's the number of British expats living in various areas in Spain that you're looking for, I suggest using official statistics https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...iving-in-spain
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Old Mar 16th 2019, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse
If you ask for information on a public forum, you're going to get a range of replies. The first reply offered some information that sounds very useful to someone seeking to start a business in a country they're not familiar with.

If it's the number of British expats living in various areas in Spain that you're looking for, I suggest using official statistics
Thanks for the link. I understand there will be negativity in many replies. Yes, the first reply was informative.
I'll stick with it. We've moved around the World in the past, and made business successes in far flung places, like Thailand for example. Most forums advise against people taking there cash there, we left with far more cash than we arrived with and had a fabulous time.
I understand the risks financially, worth the gamble in my opinion. What we have to offer the British ex-pats I believe will pay off.
Spain is ideal location for us, not too far from friends and Family.
After Brexit it might not be possible, just one place of many on our list. I'll take the negatives and hopefully the positives. Cheers....
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Old Mar 16th 2019, 2:47 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Originally Posted by RJG2019
Thanks for the link. I understand there will be negativity in many replies. Yes, the first reply was informative.
I'll stick with it. We've moved around the World in the past, and made business successes in far flung places, like Thailand for example. Most forums advise against people taking there cash there, we left with far more cash than we arrived with and had a fabulous time.
I understand the risks financially, worth the gamble in my opinion. What we have to offer the British ex-pats I believe will pay off.
Spain is ideal location for us, not too far from friends and Family.
After Brexit it might not be possible, just one place of many on our list. I'll take the negatives and hopefully the positives. Cheers....
You cannot beat having personal contact with people so I suggest that you select an area that is heavily populated with Brits and visit to canvas people at a personal level.

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Old Mar 16th 2019, 4:02 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Originally Posted by Rosemary
You cannot beat having personal contact with people so I suggest that you select an area that is heavily populated with Brits and visit to canvas people at a personal level.

Rosemary
Hi Rosemary,
Thanks, I couldn't agree more. We know the importance of networking and used food review groups in the past, to build our reputation and ratings.
We did this in some so called 3rd World Countries, the ex-pats soon came to us. I can't see it being different in Spain. I'm a very social person, like to enjoy myself and make friends and acquaintances.

We want to do a smaller scale business than where my Wife cooks just now. Her restaurant is an absolute goldmine, and surprisingly it's not in an affluent area its based in a Town with high unemployment. The food is so good people come 100s miles at weekends to eat there. It has a big cocktail bar with live entertainment upstairs and a 200+ seat restaurant downstairs. The menu is twice the price than others in the Town. It's all about the food, the quality is outstanding. We wouldn't of course open up near them, it wouldn't be the right thing to do. My Wife has always been in the food game, worked in numerous Chinese and Thai restaurants, She has served Her apprenticeship as it were, in both styles of cooking. Quite unique, and now as well as a quality Chinese menu the customers flock in for the fusion dishes.
Anyhow, if I can make a list of possible places, I will. Planning on buying a property with some land for our beloved Caucasian Shepherd dogs to guard.

Maybe Brexit will scupper that..haha if they ever come to a decision what they are doing.
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Old Mar 16th 2019, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

From what you say I would look for a city. Your wasting your time in expat areas. One simple reason is that after Brecit there will be less Brits able to live here. The areas that are colonised by mostly Brits will slowly become ghost towns.
You might have a better chance in Javea which is a bigt more upmarket but if you are used to making money you might not feel so good in Spain. People have to work like donkeys during the hot months to compensate for the quiet winters. Ask anyone about restaurant work in August.!! Plus your profits will be disappointing if you have been used to a goldmine. Still come out take a look.
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Old Mar 16th 2019, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Originally Posted by 1sexsmith
From what you say I would look for a city. Your wasting your time in expat areas. One simple reason is that after Brecit there will be less Brits able to live here. The areas that are colonised by mostly Brits will slowly become ghost towns.
You might have a better chance in Javea which is a bigt more upmarket but if you are used to making money you might not feel so good in Spain. People have to work like donkeys during the hot months to compensate for the quiet winters. Ask anyone about restaurant work in August.!! Plus your profits will be disappointing if you have been used to a goldmine. Still come out take a look.
Hi 1sexsmith,
No, I refer to my Wife's place of employment being a goldmine, not ours. If we had a business like that in the UK we wouldn't consider moving.
The Brexit outcome will definitely sway us one way or another. Ireland is also on our list. Lived and worked there in the past. Brexit won't affect the common travel area. Much prefer somewhere sunny though. We loved south east Asia but the visa and work permit hassle was just too much bother. If Spain's like that after Brext I wouldn't bother. If Brexit is cancelled and the expats stay it would be top of my list.
Working hard for us is not a problem and I understand about the high and low seasons in holiday resorts. I think maybe not a holiday resort but somewhere expats are working, retired and settled.

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Old Mar 16th 2019, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Ah well there lies the dilemma . The working Brits with cash and families are most likely in big cities whereas the retired ones are mostly near the southern coasts which is basically the resort areas. The problem is that the most successful places tend to be ones that attract both Spanish and foreigners. Chinese might do it for Brits but it isn't super popular with Spanish. Like I said before most of the Chinese places are run by extended Chinese families. They are very cheap and pack them in in the summer months. It's hard work for probably a basic survival wage. Sorry to sound a bit negative but it is true that many Brits have come here thinking that all it takes is hard work and determination to make it work but unfortunately without the language and the enchufe ( means contacts with those that matter) you could face a difficult time. Basically I wouldn't try and set up any business here without speaking Spanish but thats my opinion
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Old Mar 16th 2019, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: New member and advice!

Originally Posted by 1sexsmith
Ah well there lies the dilemma . The working Brits with cash and families are most likely in big cities whereas the retired ones are mostly near the southern coasts which is basically the resort areas. The problem is that the most successful places tend to be ones that attract both Spanish and foreigners. Chinese might do it for Brits but it isn't super popular with Spanish. Like I said before most of the Chinese places are run by extended Chinese families. They are very cheap and pack them in in the summer months. It's hard work for probably a basic survival wage. Sorry to sound a bit negative but it is true that many Brits have come here thinking that all it takes is hard work and determination to make it work but unfortunately without the language and the enchufe ( means contacts with those that matter) you could face a difficult time. Basically I wouldn't try and set up any business here without speaking Spanish but thats my opinion
Hi,
Yup, everything taken on board.
Just because there are Chinese families running businesses there and they are cheap, doesn't mean they are offering the same type or quality of food we can. Anybody that's tasted the best Glasgow Chinese and Thai restaurant food, knows how good and different it is. This is what we would be offering, and then some. My Wife and Her head chefs dishes were voted the best in Scotland recently. Pipping Lychee Oriental in Glasgow (Her previous place of work) as top dog.

Language, well we've operated businesses in Countries where we couldn't speak the language. Many years ago we rented an empty triple unit in Cambodia and turned it into a very good restaurant. Within 6 Months my Wife could hold conversations in Khmer with the staff and locals. Within 6 months we were number 3 position in beer sales from the Anchor brewery in our area. Sold that and moved on a long time ago.
Not afraid to study and learn Spanish. I picked up Cantonese and Thai in my travels through the years.
I'm willing to financially take the gamble if we still can after Brexit and we find the right place, area.
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