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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
My name is Victoria and me and my family have been thinking for the past 2 years of moving abroad to Spain, we have thought it through thoroughly and have come to the decision of moving.

We are looking at opening a family business (bar cafe) and we have looked at lease's in Marbella and the surrounding areas.

I am moving with my Twin sister, my sisters boyfriend (who has his own business) and my mum and dad and pet dog.
I was wondering if any of you have any tips on opening up the bar and getting us started?

I understand that this is a big decision, but although i am only 18, i want to do something with my family which makes us all happy. We have weighed out all the pros and cons and have stilled decided to go ahead with the plan, but i just thought maybe it might be helpful for me and my family if we had a few tips from people who already live there.

Looking forward to all off you tips.
Thanks,
Victoria Louise.
 

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My tip is: stay home.
Sorry to be negative but unemployment in the Marbella area is over 34%. I live a twenty minute drive away and every time I visit the town I see more and more shops, bars and cafes which have closed down.
You must know, if you have been planning your move, that Spain is in a double-dip recession.
Marbella has many established bars and cafes and many of them are struggling to stay open.
This is not what you want to hear, I know, but it's the hard truth, as no doubt others will tell you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My tip is: stay home.
Sorry to be negative but unemployment in the Marbella area is over 34%. I live a twenty minute drive away and every time I visit the town I see more and more shops, bars and cafes which have closed down.
You must know, if you have been planning your move, that Spain is in a double-dip recession.
Marbella has many established bars and cafes and many of them are struggling to stay open.
This is not what you want to hear, I know, but it's the hard truth, as no doubt others will tell you.
I know its a decision which is very risky but it something that we need to do for reasons i'd rather not mention.
It may be tougher going over to spain but for the reasons we have it will most likely be worth it.
I am glad for your honesty though it is much appreciated.
 

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Its good that you are trying to do something good for your family.
I have to admit you WILL get lots of negative comments on forums about what you are proposing.

There are a load of reasons why you should not do it, but there are also a load of reasons why you should ..... but maybe elsewhere

Firstly, think of the competition. I was in Benidorm last week for the night. The bar my friends use is called the coach and horses (it IS Spanish). It is in a row of 4 bars, right next to each other

The C&H does very well. Its been there for many years, its run by Spaniards and it has repeat custom from people who have been going there for a long time

Then there is a German run bar and a brit run Bar ..... and a brand new Spanish one.
The Brit guy works from 9 in the morning until close and is beginning to do well but scratches a living for 2. The Spanish bar is empty. All day. No one goes there.

So, you will be competing against established bars and you will be having to charge €1.25 for a coffee and maybe a bit more for a beer. Two Buds in the C&H are €3. You will be working all day long 7 days a week. Theres a recession and high unemployment

Failing bars and Brits seem to go together but when you put together the risk and the hours ... well, is it worth it. Only you can decide that

There's a bar owner on here and I think he's doing well ... maybe he can give you a few pointers and ideas with a bit more knowledge then us
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Its good that you are trying to do something good for your family.
I have to admit you WILL get lots of negative comments on forums about what you are proposing.

There are a load of reasons why you should not do it, but there are also a load of reasons why you should ..... but maybe elsewhere

Firstly, think of the competition. I was in Benidorm last week for the night. The bar my friends use is called the coach and horses (it IS Spanish). It is in a row of 4 bars, right next to each other

The C&H does very well. Its been there for many years, its run by Spaniards and it has repeat custom from people who have been going there for a long time

Then there is a German run bar and a brit run Bar ..... and a brand new Spanish one.
The Brit guy works from 9 in the morning until close and is beginning to do well but scratches a living for 2. The Spanish bar is empty. All day. No one goes there.

So, you will be competing against established bars and you will be having to charge €1.25 for a coffee and maybe a bit more for a beer. Two Buds in the C&H are €3. You will be working all day long 7 days a week. Theres a recession and high unemployment

Failing bars and Brits seem to go together but when you put together the risk and the hours ... well, is it worth it. Only you can decide that

There's a bar owner on here and I think he's doing well ... maybe he can give you a few pointers and ideas with a bit more knowledge then us

Thanks for your understanding of it.
I know theres so much competition and we still have to sell our house over here in the UK first but its something we all have to do and if it helps my mum and dad be happy i'd happily work 7 days a week just to make ends meet and help them.
My dad has set his heart on Marbella and surrounding areas but after some of the research i've done on this forum i am going to ask him to maybe reconsider a different area.

(The reason for also joining the forum was to meet and talk to people about spain and gain more knowledge and friends on the way)

Thanks. :)
 

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Thanks for your understanding of it.
I know theres so much competition and we still have to sell our house over here in the UK first but its something we all have to do and if it helps my mum and dad be happy i'd happily work 7 days a week just to make ends meet and help them.
My dad has set his heart on Marbella and surrounding areas but after some of the research i've done on this forum i am going to ask him to maybe reconsider a different area.

(The reason for also joining the forum was to meet and talk to people about spain and gain more knowledge and friends on the way)

Thanks. :)
I'm afraid that there are few if any areas where you will make a living from running a bar/cafe. As I said, Spain is in deep recession. One in three Spaniards on the Costas are looking for work. Many British immigrants -estimated to be one in three - have returned to the UK. Others are desperate to but are trapped with houses they can't sell. Many have fled leaving debts behind - but of course you can now be chased for debt all over the EU!!
Even in the good times, it's not easy to open a bar, especially if you know no Spanish (apologies if you do). Everyone here in the bar trade works seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, just to scrape a living.
And whatever you do, do not sell your UK house. Rent it but keep it. Threre is no social security/welfare system here in Spain as in the UK - no Housing Benefit etc. If you are self-employed here you pay a flat rate of almost 300 euros a month i regardless of your earnings. No free health care either until you have qualified by paying into the system.
The only people who are living happy lives in Spain are those who for whatever reason do not need to work or who already have a secure well-paid job.
 

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There is a bar called the Coach and Horses in Nerja and it is struggling big time. It is English owned and in spite of it being in a prime location they are really struggling. However, that is not, in this case, because all bars are struggling here. Curiously, bars and restaurants here in Nerja are doing quite well and fom now until the end of November will be reasonably full. The C&H struggles because it is in a time warp. It claims to sell home cooked British food and I suppose it does if you are happy with 1970s fare. The food is lifeless, greasy and very badly cooked. The owner has been running it for years and has simply run out of ideas and will almost certainly be giving it up at the end of this season. If you really want to do this, be very prepared for a hard and unforgiving life for the first several years. Be prepared to change your concepts and plans very quickly and arrive here in the certain knowledge that whatever your plans are when you step off the plane, there is a 99% chance that none of them will come to fruition. BUT you can still be successful if you embrace a totally open attitude, accept the blame for things going wrong (because it will be your fault not someone else) and be prepared to change. Do all that you've got a chance, but a slim one nevertheless. I wish you the very best of luck. Try and keep your UK house but something tells me that for whatever the reasons are for you 'having' to move out of UK, that won't be possible.
 

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All I would say is Do not sell your UK house. When it has gone, you'll have nothing, rent it out!

Jo xxx
 

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I was wondering why we have suddenly had quite a few posts from would-be immigrants....then I realised that a) the weather in the UK has been pretty dire and b) many British people are depressed by the economic situation in the UK and c) very few seem to be aware that things are ten times worse in Spain and that the idea you can come over, open a bar and make a living is a concept that evaporated into the realm of fantasy a few years back.

I must say that I am amazed that so few people in the UK seem aware of the 'facts on the ground' in Spain and that day-to-day life resembles your holiday experience even less than I resemble Cheryl Cole (for which I am thankful).
 

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1. I must say that I am amazed that so few people in the UK seem aware of the 'facts on the ground' in Spain...

2....and that day-to-day life resembles your holiday experience even less than I resemble Cheryl Cole (for which I am thankful).
This post deserves a double like - first for part 1 and secondly for part 2 hahaha:D
 

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Hi Everyone,
My name is Victoria and me and my family have been thinking for the past 2 years of moving abroad to Spain, we have thought it through thoroughly and have come to the decision of moving.

We are looking at opening a family business (bar cafe) and we have looked at lease's in Marbella and the surrounding areas.

I am moving with my Twin sister, my sisters boyfriend (who has his own business) and my mum and dad and pet dog.
I was wondering if any of you have any tips on opening up the bar and getting us started?

I understand that this is a big decision, but although i am only 18, i want to do something with my family which makes us all happy. We have weighed out all the pros and cons and have stilled decided to go ahead with the plan, but i just thought maybe it might be helpful for me and my family if we had a few tips from people who already live there.

Looking forward to all off you tips.
Thanks,
Victoria Louise.
Hi Victoria,
I really like your post about wanting to help your mum and dad out. That shows a certain maturity, and hints at a loving relationship.
I also like the way that you've come on here (and possibly other forums?) to seek out info indicating that you're open to advice and criticism.
So now comes the downside. You say...
We have weighed out all the pros and cons and have stilled decided to go ahead with the plan
and I say if you've come to that conclusion then you probably don't have the right information. As mrypg9 said people in the UK just don't seem to be aware of what's happening in Spain. Here's some real info for you.

  • Unemployment is more than twice that of the UK.
  • More people between 16 and 25 are UNemployed than employed.
  • The latest time span for the crisis to end is 2020. Even my (Spanish) husband, otherwise known as Mr. Optimistic was telling me today that's he's worried about our future.
  • Some schools are without supply teachers, heating, photocopies are charged for...
  • People are being charged for hospital stays, doctors appointments etc in some areas despite the fact that Spain has a high quality health service
On top of that you will have to do things like pay 260+ euros every month to be self employed and I'm not sure how you'd come off for health care... I could go on, but I think you can get the general idea.


Look at this thread especially from page 5 onwards which is more up to date.
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/sp...26-economic-employment-situation-spain-5.html


I'm not being negative for the sake of it. This is life in Spain today, overall in the south. Things aren't exactly booming in the north either, but it's not so bad in general. If it was just you and your boyfriend, as you are young and probably hard working I might say give it a go, but having to provide for another 2 people and wanting to sell your property in the UK, then I'd say think again. You may have more opportunities in another part of the UK.
 

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Hi Everyone,
My name is Victoria and me and my family have been thinking for the past 2 years of moving abroad to Spain, we have thought it through thoroughly and have come to the decision of moving.

We are looking at opening a family business (bar cafe) and we have looked at lease's in Marbella and the surrounding areas.

I am moving with my Twin sister, my sisters boyfriend (who has his own business) and my mum and dad and pet dog.
I was wondering if any of you have any tips on opening up the bar and getting us started?

I understand that this is a big decision, but although i am only 18, i want to do something with my family which makes us all happy. We have weighed out all the pros and cons and have stilled decided to go ahead with the plan, but i just thought maybe it might be helpful for me and my family if we had a few tips from people who already live there.

Looking forward to all off you tips.
Thanks,
Victoria Louise.

Hi Victoria Louise,

Just seen your forum post and would love to hear how you and your family are getting along? Have you moved out to Spain yet? Sounds like such a brilliant new start!

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Emily
 

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Well it would be good to hear from her but so often with these threads you never hear from them again which is a shame.
 

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Hi Victoria Louise,

Just seen your forum post and would love to hear how you and your family are getting along? Have you moved out to Spain yet? Sounds like such a brilliant new start!

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Emily
Emily, regrettably moving to Spain to open a bar in these present times is definitely not the basis for a brilliant new start
 

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I open at 7:00 i close at 1/2 am 7 days a week
I pay 400 rent even though i bought the bar
Elect 500+ per month
Im in a village where i have all year work not seasonal
And ive done that for 8 yrs
My wife has to work in the yk to make ends meet
No its shear hard work for very little reward
But you will meet a lot of different people and thats a good thing

The bars on the coast that are shut are not good bars and i say this because they are rented what the spanish do is say charge you a deposit 3000 non returnable
Then 3 months rent 1200+
You find the bars not what you thought it would be and hand the bar back to the owner he thwn foes through the same scenario with the next person who wants a bar
When i bought my bar i went in every morning and everynight for a month so i saw what clients were going in and out
Its not easy but if you dont mind long hours little reward and a good chance of losing your money then go for it
But please please dont dive in slowly slowly and ask other people what they think of a paticular bar your intrested in and by the way the above figures is only the basic payout there is also stock and numerous other things including licences etc etc
Good luck
 
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