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18/07/2013

Restalia to take its first 'bite' out of the Chilean market

The group is about to open its first restaurant in Rome and is preparing its official invasion of the US east coast, where it already has 12 restaurants in Florida and is planning to add at least one in NY and another in Washington, DC by year-end.

Gema B. Muñoz

Restalia's looking to take over the world and it appears to be on the right track. After 12 years in the Spanish market, where it already has 300 La Sureña and 100 Montaditos restaurants, parent company Restalia is about to enter Chile and is preparing to conquer Europe, with its first locale in Rome slated to open in the next few days.

But these two events won't be the company's only milestones in 2013. Restalia, founded by José María Fernández Capitán and based in Islantilla, Huelva, already has a dozen 100 Montaditos restaurants in Florida and is preparing to head up the US east coast. The parent company is looking to open at least one locale in New York and another in Washington, DC before the end of the year.

This year Restalia's montaditos will also arrive in London, and in Guadalajara and San Luis de Potosí, in Mexico.

Restalia also has plans for the Spanish market in mind. After summer the company will launch a new brand, which sources describe as "green" and "complementary to the 100 Montaditos and La Sureña offer", their sources tell Qcom.es.

Five years ago, Restalia turned Euromania (selling products for one euro) into a trend that still exists in Spain's foodservice sector. To meet all of its objectives, it will take its plans for expansion even further, and in 2014 it will open in the south of France (Toulouse is one of the candidates) and in Munich, Germany.

However, before crossing the Pyrenees and the Alps, Restalia will try to set up shop closer to the Pacific, opening a locale in Santiago de Chile in September, the first in that country. As Restalia sources have told Qcom.es, the company reached an agreement with the Senerman family to develop the company in Chile.

Tasty Italy: the driver in Europe

Back in Europe, the company's most immediate challenge is to open 100 Montaditos in the "Eternal City", near to the Olympic Stadium. “The plan is to first test this market at local level, and then to develop an expansion plan for the rest of the country which includes opening 60 to 100 restaurants in the next 10 years," says Rosa Madrid, who was appointed as Head of Europe at Restalia barely a month ago.

Her appointment coincided with changes in the company's executive team. As a result, Carlos Pérez Tenorio is CEO of Restalia America, and Virginia Donado, formerly Head of Growth, is now part of management. Her previous post will be filled by Álvaro Martín.

Martin and Madrid will provide the support that Donado needs to expand 100 Montaditos and La Sureña, in and outside of Spain. In addition to Rome, Restalia aims to open a restaurant in London before year-end.

And that's not the only project for the English-speaking market. On the other side of the Atlantic, where Restalia already has 12 restaurants in Florida (including its most emblematic restaurant, on Lincoln Road, one of the busiest shopping streets in the US), the company is looking to extend its brand along the east coast.

Trying out the Big Apple

Known in the US press as the "Zara of sandwiches", and with Dollarmania (the American version of Euromania) as one of its insignias, Restalia is looking to take its first bite out of the Big Apple and open a restaurant in New York, and one in Washington, DC. As Restalia sources have told Qcom.es, those restaurants are already in the works and could very well open before Christmas.

And two restaurants that will most certainly open before the holidays are 100 Montaditos in Guadalajara and San Luis de Potosí, in Mexico, where the company already has two units up and running in Mexico City, and where Euromanía has its local version: Pesomania. “Mexico is one of our most strategic markets and has the greatest scope for growth in the coming years", says Restalia.

In fact, the company envisions around 40 new restaurants there per year over the next decade. It’s also looking to strengthen its presence in Colombia by adding another 30 restaurants to the existing two in Bogotá.

Restalia expects to create 2,000 new jobs in 2013. And with so many destinations on the horizon, it's working on a global menu, which includes a variation on some local dishes in each country, and where the common denominator will be typically Spanish products, such as ham and Spanish omelet.

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