There are many advantages to buying a bar in Spain as opposed to doing it back in Ireland or the UK. The Comaskey family have been involved in bars in Spain as far back as 1998 when Bernie Comaskey purchased an empty shell in La Zenia, that would later become the World Famous Paddy’s Point, La Zenia. We know the advantages, but we see the pitfalls clearer than most.
Here are some advantages of the bar business here on the Costa Blanca.
- The profits here are higher than in Ireland. (I don’t have to hand comparative figures for the UK but we assuming margins are greater in Spain).
- Wages costs are lower in Spain.
- There is no advertising needed, especially for a bar like Murphy’s, due to the location and the amount of Irish, British and Scandinavians around this part of town. The park of Nations is a big attraction to us ex pats too.
- The legal and taxation system is simple to navigate once you employ a fully qualified legal and tax company like Spanish Solutions to deal with all paperwork. If you try to do it yourself, you will fail. The location, previous trading, goodwill, your ideas and enthusiasm will count for nothing if the foundations of your new business in Spain are not in place.
- Tips are better in Spain. Many bar workers in Torrevieja earn as much in tips as they do in wages- a nice little bonus!
- Getting staff is simple. Try sticking an ad in the local paper… “Bar staff wanted for the summer”. You must come to Spain”- see how many replies you get!!
- You probably don’t need to speak Spanish, not fluently at least.
- The clientele tends to be holiday makers who come to Spain with disposable income to spend. Every night can be like a Saturday night when you are on holidays.
- Buying a bar like Murphy’s in Torrevieja makes sense- it’s a turnkey operation- no builders, painters, furniture or sign people required. Also there is an existing business already in place- you just need to take care of that, not build it from scratch.
- It’s Spain. On your day off you can enjoy a day deep sea fishing on the Mediterranean or just lounging on the soft sand of the Costa Blanca.
Whether you manage a pub or Spanish cafe, the challenges of running a successful business go far beyond just keeping customer glasses full. This is the hardest thing for us to explain to people who are thinking of buying a bar in Spain- it’s not like a night out, this is a serious business. From inventory management to insurance issues, you’ll have to learn how to run a bar as a business. Again to reiterate, if you skip this step, your business will fail.
Do you have experience in the services industry in Ireland, The US or The UK? If not, you need to get some. Before buying a bar, get 6 months’ experience under your belt. Even if it means asking a bar owner in a successful bar to let you behind the counter without getting paid, you must try it out.
Perhaps you could cope if you have a bar manager who you totally trust with Spanish bar experience. Please do not think this opportunity is a guaranteed success however- Its simple, not necessarily easy!!
Tasks we at Comaskey can help you with:
- Paying your tax.
- Making sure you are legal.
- Obtaining a licence. Of course, Murphy’s is fully licenced, but perhaps you wish to add a tobacco or 24 hour opening clause to your licence.
- Getting Spanish work contracts for employees.
- Relocation service to Spain for you and your family- help with schools, medical, etc.
- Some promotion. Our newsletter goes to almost 10,000 clients monthly- we’ll be delighted to give you a free plug or two and once the customer shows up, it’s your job to keep them.
- Satellite TV installation. You will need Sky TV as we love our sports in Spain. We have contacts who will install this for you.
Murphy’s is a potential goldmine for the right person- its fitted out very attractively, it’s in a good location with lots of holiday apartments all around and if you deal with Comaskey you get all the bonuses of our experience in the bar industry as well as the Real Estate sector- All for no extra charge!!
Should you wish to come and view Murphy’s, we will be delighted to take you to Torrevieja for a quick tour. [email protected]
Alex Sanchez, business consultant and tax expert should be your next port of call- we will arrange all for you.
Once you get the basics right, we hope to see you continue with the success of Murphy’s and we look forward to hearing the cash registers chime as your profits roll in.
We can absolutely promise you that if you decide to relocate to Spain you’ll quickly forget about your previous life and we hope you’ll leave the stress behind you!