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Remarkable Stories from a Spanish Bar

For you to enjoy the unbelievable stories and unforgettable characters of a Spanish Bar! Some so outrageous that you couldn't make them up !

Research is key !
10 March 2013 @ 15:02

 We felt research was key, although a hard job, having to go to loads of different bars, seeing what they were doing, what their customer base was, what tapas they had, what their beer and wine tasted like !!! What a pain ! Such a hard job but someone had to do it !

 
We spent from the time we first decided to go for the bar until the day we closed, using every opportunity to learn, what worked and what didn't.
 
One of the key points were children, every bar we went in had customers with children. What was the main out point, the kids were bored ! Okay, a plan, we already had a park behind the bar, fantastic, great start ! But what about the small kids who's parents would need to keep an eye on them or if it was raining ! 
 
Kids corner ! This idea came from a restaurant in an airport, soft play area. Happy kids, happy parents = more sales, because the parents aren't being bothered to leave.
Another bonus was that we had two very social able little girls who now where fluent in English and Spanish ready to play ! 
 
We set up a tv with videos and a carpenter friend gave me some off cuts of wood that his children used as building blocks. All aged kids love to build ! 
We set up a table, put plastic draw system with art material from home next to it, colouring books, crafty stuff. Books ! 
 
We really needed a sofa, which came along a bit later, to begin with chairs would have to do !
 
Then we really lucked out, we saw a bouncy castle for sale, we had the outdoor space, when the pool was closed, so why not ! It was an amazing price and became worth its weight in gold ! Kids wanted to come to the bar to bounce and what did the parents do spend, it worked like a dream and led to birthday party's, which I tell you all about later !!
 
We would be the only English run bar for about 25kms each way, we needed to make ourselves standout, but include the traditional Spanish culture.
 
What are the things we see in most bars that we didn't  like ?    
 
Problem                    Solution 
-------                    --------
 
Tv on                      Tv on with sport and no sound (unless big game) music playing
 
Not being acknowledged.    Greet everyone, even if busy, make sure they know, you know  
                           they are waiting !
 
Slow service, talking not 
Serving.                   Politely apologise for break in conversation, serve new 
                           customer and return to conversation.
 
Things we did like about other bars ?
 
Being greeted
Good tapas
Staff wanting to talk to us
Staff talking to our kids 
Staff ready to serve us, when we wanted something
 
These turned into the base of our business, keep the customer happy whenever possible, of course can't keep everyone happy all the time, as you will see as my blog continues. Some people will just never be happy even if you walk hot coals for them !
 
These decisions happened before we opened the door and to the best of our ability we kept to those key commitments until that last day and the teary farewell to our final customer! 
 
Sorry I got side lined, you will hear about the Grand Opening I promise ! I am loving writing this blog, but as I didn't keep notes, think of things a little out sequence.
Thank you for your support and all your comments.
 


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5 Comments


Gerald said:
10 March 2013 @ 16:56

Brilliant Sam, I like your "jumping about". Write what's on your mind at the time, other thoughts will follow.
Your ideas are of course pure common sense, but so many of say afterwards, "Why didn't I think of that?"


Maddiemack said:
10 March 2013 @ 17:25

Sorry I haven't written for a while, Sam. We're in Spain at the moment and are finding it hard to find free wifi where we are staying. I have just caught up with the last seven of your posts and I have to say, like Gerald, I don't mind a bit that you 'jump about'! I am so enjoying reading your blog and, hopefully, we'll get to meet you sometime in the near future. It seems there a quite a few of us moving out here either full-time or part-time!


Sam said:
11 March 2013 @ 07:44

Thank you guys, for your comments. You wouldn't believe what I joy you give by enjoying my posts ! Your support means so much !
I feel a eyeonspain blogging party coming on, give me a month or so and I'll start looking at sorting something out !


Michael Patrick Maye said:
16 March 2013 @ 06:15

Dear Sam, I have worked in the Hotel Business for many years at the top end 5 star Hotels in Ireland Dubai, Amman ,Jordan,Ect,
Dealing with Mr/Mrs customer is a subject very dear to my heart,and when I finish writing the book I will send you a singed copy.
From Beltra to Timbuktu.!!


Sam said:
16 March 2013 @ 07:10

Thank you Michael, really looking forward to your book, will be interesting to see how many stories are similar even though we were opposite ends of the market ! Hope it's finished soon x


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