Setting up a cafe in Spain.

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El Cid
Andalucia Guru
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:42 pm
Location: La Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada

Setting up a cafe in Spain.

Postby El Cid » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:25 pm

This is taken from some posts that Anis posted as part of a thread about 3 years ago.

Originally it was a request for information on setting up a cafe but it is equally pertinent to setting up a bar or restaurant.

The original thread can be read in full at viewtopic.php?f=22&t=17186

1. Location - vital importance, but catch 22, the rent is higher, the more prominent your location. Not too many customers in the back streets.
2. Why is the rental available ? Try to find out from other sources.
3. Check the lease - is it renewable - this is important.
4. Ensure you know who is responsible for what and get it in writing. Replacing a broken coffee machine or even repairing it is horrendously expensive. Who owns what ? What happens if the freezer breaks - do you replace it or the landlord ?
5. If you wish to serve food - have the premises extractor fans in the kitchens - these are very expensive to install. You must have separate sinks, one for staff to wash hands in etc., and ideally SS units - you will be inspected for all these things.
6. Check the bathrooms - new builds must have disabled, some bars don't have loos big enough.
7. Check the smoking laws - the law for big bars is being enforced now, be careful on size or you will end up paying for al the renovation costs.
8. Can the electric system cope with any further demands ? If you add a further microwave, you might blow the whole lot. Also check the utility bills - ask to see them and make sure they are reasonable and not added on to somewhere else.
9. Licence - a nightmare - be very careful, even with a recommended gestor, you can get in bother.
10. Neighbours - one call from them will have the local police at your door in minutes - ensure they are happy with your cafe bar to be open.
11. Check rent - it should only go up annually according to cost of living so make sure you get that covered and understood and a longer contract than one year.
13. Emergency lighting and extinguishers.
The bar must have emergency lighting which stays on when main lights go off. Must be clearly signed, several extinguishers which must be kept up to dtae and signs above the extinguishers and the exits
Part 2 - running costs
1. Autonomo ( self employed ) - as the bar owner, one of you must pay this monthly, - € 400 ? You must keep up the payment, whether or not you have takings that month. It will cover the rest of your family.
2. Gestor fees for your accounts to go to the Hacienda for your tax
3. Taxes
4. Rubbish and water, electric and gas bottle bills
5. Licence application fees
6. Insurance for contents of the bar and public liability - I claimed twice and receivd zero.
7. Pavement fees - if you have outside space ( clients should come inside by 11.00pm - noise nuisance - but you can continue to serve inside to 2.00am )
8. Entertainment fees - if you have a TV or play music you should pay for a licence to do so.
9. Gambling - there is another licence for this, be very careful because you will invoke the wrath of the Nat. Police, not just the Local Police, if you don't follow the letter of the law.
10. Cigarette machines and gambling machines - you need to be licenced for these and need a zapper to open the cig machine.
11. FOOD HANDLING CERTIFICATE- mentioned above, easy enough and you can take it in English, your UK one will not suffice - the only trouble is trying to find some place to sit one - they have to wait for sufficient numbers.
12. Insect, roach control certs. - I don't think this is compulsory, but advisable if in a town.
13. Staff - members of own family over a certain age can work for you, after that, it gets much more complicated.
14. Replacement of equipment - don't rely on the suppliers to help you out with freezers, drinks cabinets, glasses, etc until you have been running for some time. If using old equipment ie. counter tapas cabinet, make sure the temperature is accurate or you'll make people ill, same with fridges, check them out first - it will save money in the long run. Old fridges burn a lot of extra leccy and they are your most important piece of equipment.
15. A last hidden cost- if you decide it's not for you, ensure you tell the hacienda / autonomo that you have ceased to trade or you could have bills fines following years later and they will add up.

Part 3 -
1. Staffing ratios - don't under estimate numbers needed. You will need to visit the loo, you will be ill at some time, you will get very tired, it's hard work. Some part-timers don't like to work weekends. Be prepared to work all hours and fill in when staff are sick.
2. I cannot compare to UK because have no experience but on the good side, the pipe work is relatively easy. Your beer supplier will provide you with a techno man if things go wrong and they are pretty good at turning up quickly - it is in their interest to do so.
3. Most money is taken in evenings, Sundays are often quiet, particularly in Summer. Winters were busier than Summers, but that will wholly depend on your chosen location - could be quite different.
4. When you receive you tax stickers you can obtain a trading card for Makro or other wholesalers, wherever you wish to go.
5. Do menus etc in Spanish and English - sounds obvious, but you would be surprised. Cater for our hosts, some will come in and they will try other things but do learn the lingo if you want them to return and play some music for them too. Also, try stocking the wines they enjoy and remember, they like their reds chilled in Summer. Most have a great knowledge of wines.
6. Make sure you make good coffee and chocolate, very important - instant is not good enough especially if you want the Spanish to drink it and learn the different ways of serving it - solo/ con leche etc
7. Ensure you have plenty of funds to cover your start up. Suppliers will expect COD and will not supply in a very short space of time, if you cannot keep up.
8. Sticking with one supplier may give you more freebies, promos, one case for 4 offers - make sure you have plenty of storage space to keep offers in, but you will not have so many choices to offer.
9. A small local that won't fall foul of the smoking laws will not generate enough income for more than one family, so don't be fooled into thinking that you can go into partnership with others - it doesn't usually work.

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