Business…With a Twist Working in a family business can be tough, as David finds out. BY SARA WILSON
Courtesty of Sara Wilson
David in front of Al Cante, his dad's restaurant.
Our plan to move sounded great. Come to Spain, join a family business, and create one outstanding tapas restaurant. All the ingredients for success were there: David’s dad is a flamenco performer and David is a chef. The plan just needed to be executed.
David left New York City with three huge suitcases and Sushi, our cat, on the 17th of May. He had stayed just long enough to help pack up our New York City apartment before rushing to get back to Spain to take over the kitchen. He left with 1,000 ideas. He would keep the restaurant open during siesta time to give all those hungry/thirsty tourists a bite to eat and would even offer a happy hour—he would also try brunch to see if it appealed, and he would add a modern feel to the restaurant.
David was brimming with ideas, but it turned out that the ideas would never work because he and his dad had very different visions for the restaurant. While his dad put the emphasis on the music, David was putting the focus on the food, and while the two could have worked in perfect harmony, instead, it made the whole situation just slightly off key.
For example, David’s dad preferred to put the extra money towards hiring professional flamenco performers, but he didn’t think it wise to invest in fresh food—it turns out that several restaurants in Torrevieja use frozen ingredients for the tapas. Meanwhile, David has a really hard time working with only frozen ingredients. David’s dad and the rest of the staff take siestas and are easy going to the point that they drink and smoke in front of the customers. David is wired with the NYC mentality, came ready to work long hours if necessary and tried to stop the drinking, but to no avail. But after a month, the differences were too apparent, and both sides too stubborn and it ultimately didn’t work out.
It’s no one’s fault, it’s simply just a difference in priorities and opinions. The subsequent result has been disappointment. Our expectations were high. It could have been perfect. So we are in search of our direction, our path. And while it’s still a bit too early to say for sure what the future holds, it’s no doubt sure to be exciting! We wanted adventure? We’re getting it.
So we’re looking into possibly doing something on our own and have visited commercial spaces to get an idea of what’s available. Location is crucial and we are considering Torrevieja, as well as Alicante, which is about 60 miles away—much more convenient for when people come to visit as that’s where the airport is located. We’re more connected in Torrevieja, but Alicante is a bigger city and definitely less seasonal. There are pros and cons of each and we’re trying to weigh all the factors.
More details to come.
Sara Wilson is currently working as a freelance writer and lives in Torrevieja, Spain with her husband. She has kept a record of her adventures living abroad which you can find here or on her blog: http://sarawilson.wordpress.com. Contact her directly at email@example.com.