They call it a dream for a reason, you know!
GETTING LICENSES Well, weÂ’re in Spain. DonÂ’t need that, do you? Besides, some bloke in the bar last night said not to worry, you open up then ask for the operating license, because otherwise it takes months before you can open. ThatÂ’s how the locals do it you know!
OPENING NIGHT For publicity we will start by having a huge party and buy everybody drinks and food!? And look, first night, and my bar is full to bursting of lots of lovely people who are all telling me what a wonderful bar I have! Funny how you never see any of them againÂ….
WHAT WE NEED IS FOOD You know what we need? Food. Anyone can butter a sandwich. Pickled eggs, lovely. Why not get some frozen curries from that supermarket down the road, just heat them up and sell em for loadsa dough! Not spending money on catering equipment, just go down to shops to buy a load of knives, pots and pans and boards and stuff. WeÂ’re in Spain, right? What do you mean, you need separate and different coloured cutting boards for meat, veg & fish? Who the hell ever got sick eating a bit of raw chicken? What do you mean, different fridges for baked goods and cheeses and raw meat? Hair nets and long trousers? ItÂ’s too hot to wear a hat in here! Cleaning products? Well, IÂ’ve got some bleach somewhere Â– what do you mean, proper sanitary cleaning items? I mop it daily! Well, yes, I use the same mop for all floors butÂ…Â…Â…Â…Â…Â…!
I KNOW WHAT WILL BRING EM IN! What will bring them in is a proper big brightly coloured neon board outside saying JOEÂ’S PUB Â– SKY TV BINGO QUIZ BANGERS & MASH all at Â€4.50Â”. That'll get them in. To make it look proper Spanish IÂ’ll stick a Toreador man on it. John Smiths and fishÂ‘nÂ’chips, no need to spend money on menus just write it out on a black board because then they think itÂ’ll be fresh daily! Now hereÂ’s an idea Â– letÂ’s offer the food really cheaply, Â€3.50 for an English breakfast. Yes, I know it costs me more than that to buy it and cook it, but I make it up on the drinks! Easy.
BRINGING IN THE LOCALS How come we never get Spaniards in here? They just peer in and move on with a shudder. WouldnÂ’t do that if I were a local. Bet they donÂ’t even know what a pickled pigs knuckle is.
HIRING OF STAFF Well, no point getting flat-chested girls. Anyone who can do a bit of waiting on will do, they donÂ’t need experience. Just get the punters in. They can wear a bikini top and keep the tips! Classy. Not when tots are about though, family place this. Oh yeah.
ACCOUNTING I can do the books, no problem there. ItÂ’s just, income versus outgoingsÂ… easy. How do you pay taxes in this country? Ah, stuff it, not making enough to pay taxes.
THE WINTER Flippin quiet round here. Where are all the tourists? PoundÂ’s down again, itÂ’s that bloody UK government messing things up again. The Spanish donÂ’t help matters by insisting I pay tax and insurance and social security and then fining you because you donÂ’t.
TO ALL THOSE DREAMERS There are rules in this country for opening a bar, and those rules are for locals and foreigners, believe or not. If the locals donÂ’t visit your bar it may be because you donÂ’t speak Spanish, how is a local supposed to order their drinks or food? If you were in London and a Spanish family opened a bar but did not speak English, would you take Spanish classes to order your drinks? or would you go to the nearest English speaking bar? If you want to operate a business in a foreign country you have to follow the local rules and understand the local language or at least have someone on the premises who can communicate properly with the locals.
If you still have that dream and many do then take advice from someone who does and learn the ropes. In fact there are Bar, CafĂ© and Restaurant owners doing very well in Spain. Mostly because they bothered to get to know the business or relied on the experience and training they received in the past. If you donÂ’t know it and donÂ’t want to learn about it then just donÂ’t do it!! Or your dream could become a nightmare!!