The bigger the dream, the more important the team

I have some money, how about setting a bar?

Hello my dearest readers. Today I want to explore a little the consulting vein and elaborate on what it means, today, to bet on a business in the world of hospitality.
The sector is experiencing a moment of great expansion and it is to celebrate it. But this growth has also multiplied, naturally, competitors and risks. There are many people who dream of setting up a small restaurant, something cozy, intimate, with a very cute dining-room where they can set a few tables and thus be able to serve customers with closeness, care, and detail. Romantic formula but impossible? Not necessarily, everything can be achieved, always with a correct planning and a correct study behind.

Information is power

Before launching ourselves crazily to set up an establishment focused on gastronomy, we must be aware of the difficulties involved in opening a new location, be it a restaurant, bar, cafeteria or any other model.

Then the first thing will be to start with the research, gather useful information about the investment to set up a viable restaurant and make a good market study. One of the most important things that we must consider is to know the profile of the client to which we are going to focus our offer. Knowing our consumer allows us to serve better and sell more.

Choosing the ideal space

Keep in mind that the investment in the works of your business can get to eat up to 50% of your budget. It depends on the concept you want to assemble and the surface in square meters, with an estimated per m2 between € 1100 and € 1800.

Ok, more numbers, what is the average investment?

A cafeteria of 90 m2 will have an average of € 100,000 investment, and a brewery in a local of 130 m2 will be about € 200,000. This is an approximation, this step should not be done without professional advice, it is much more complex than it seems.

Where is the key?

Many think that the most important factors are the building, the location, the works, and they dedicate obscene amounts of money to the decoration, to an abusive rent in a downtown area or to hire a famous chef, and none of that will necessarily represent a guarantee of success. Space is just a leg of the table, but there are other things: gastronomic offer, human resources, communication, management, suppliers, a thousand things to be taken into account, and they are all important. The more variables we control, the less risk we will run.

How long will it take to amortize my investment?

The repayment term will depend on your experience, training, equipment and, above all, that you have properly invested in communication. But in general for a project to be viable, the repayment term of the investment should be between 3 and 7 years, which we should be able to pay month to month with what the business is doing, otherwise, something is not matching. The smartest thing is to be well advised so that the amortization does not suppose a ballast in your day to day with unrealistic expectations, for that a perfect project and a good business plan is essential, all written in a paper.

Taking the jump, you remembered the mattress, right?

You must ensure a working capital, the money necessary to meet the expenses of the first months of activity and possible contingencies. Keep in mind that when you open your bar, in general, it is thought that you will have the money right away and the income may come later than you think.

The working capital should be around 12 months to ensure that your project is successful. And the amount should be between 10 and 15% of your total investment.

Payments to suppliers will be between 30 and 40% of your total billing.

Supplies between 10 and 15% (electricity, gas, water, telephone, Internet)

The rent should not exceed 10% of your billing.

The staff between 25 and 30%. This is the last expense, but attention because it is the most important. Your collaborators will be nothing less than the voice that will communicate your philosophy, with their doing, with their knowledge, with their kindness. You have to take good care of them.

Net benefit: between 10 and 15%.

Three parts of realism

95% of the restaurants’ businesses fail in the first step that is the calculation of the initial investment, as it is very complex, the best thing is to inform oneself, be educated or be advised by those who have started before and therefore know more.


The picture is complicated. But as I said above, information is power. Knowing well how this market behaves (remember that a very large part of this is knowing what consumers want), will allow you to lose your fear and gather the energy necessary for you to realize your dream. Go ahead!

Xavi Iglesias

A with coffee and service


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