Joanet Restaurant: “We survived thanks to a loyal and grateful customers”

The transparent display case shows tortilla of potatoes, croissants and another sandwich. This counter of a small bar in Barcelona, ​​the bar, the chairs, the coffee machine and at least one shelf with several bottles of alcohol is the thread that unites it with other institutions of its style. That, and that everyone was left alone in the face of danger in the face of the pandemic. “What is autonomous It does not have the same resources or the same options as a company that is prepared with a battery behind it to stop it all & rdquor ;, reveals the owner of a restaurant with 130 years of history in El Born, in Barcelona. “It costs more to negotiate with the owners, for example a rental fee reduction If you are your solo & rdquor; the person in charge of a bar near Arc de Triomf collapses. And “a chain can afford to pull the tight price& rdquor ;, concludes the manager of a business in Sant Gervasi.

According to data from the NPD Market Research Group, businesses of its kind have lost 15 points of market share in favor of restaurant chains over the past 10 years: 7 points only in the two years we have been in the pandemic.

“That of the chains is a problem that comes from afar & rdquor;, they raise from the Bar Mariona, located in the Ronda Sant Pere. Although the covid made it clearer, they say, it was already common for a customer chooses to eat in a local whose brand will be familiar with it and not in a bar where you only have information.

And that’s just one of the problems. “People do not want to work in a bar anymore, nothing is transferred & rdquor ;, will say behind the bar from another place, this one in the Eixample, a waiter who previously dedicated himself to restaurant premises transferred. “When the owners have retired, the children no longer want to take care of the business: that’s why more and more Chinese families are in it, because they do not mind working so many hours and because they can be like that with the family ”, explains the Bali assistant Mariona again. She is of Chinese roots. And his aunt, in charge of this place with a long bar, an extensive row of bottles and a double-locking machine as well.

Quite a few square meters less, but the same aesthetics offer the bar – Albert’s cafe. Mari, its owner, agrees that when it comes to debt management, they are alone, but the only inconvenience they find goes away on their own. On the other hand: the ability to know most of your customers and to be able to offer them an almost familiar treatment. “Sometimes people just want to talk, we almost do psychologists and rdquor; it says. And that, in a bigger chain, is a lot harder.

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Similar story makes Angels of Plaça Sant Agustí Vell, in the Gothic Quarter. “We had a lot of loyal and very grateful customers, when we opened the doors to the pandemic, there was a queue of customers who came to spend whatever it was: I understand that a business with fewer years and ‘caliu’ sank & rdquor ;, analyzes the owner of the Joanet.

Because she did not throw ‘Delivery’, nor the Albert’s, nor the Mariona, nor the local Sant Gervasi. And they all survived, although Angels, of Joanet, believe that at least his is a special case: more than a century’s history, to be able to do without an ICO and to have a truly dedicated clientele. The proof is that around him, between three and four businesses of the same style, could not count him.

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