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The seafood restaurant concept gains a foothold in Madrid

Gema Boiza. Journalist. @GemaBoiza

"It's difficult to find a brand new concept in the restaurant industry, but the lobster-hamburger combination was not available in Spain until we opened our locale". Those are the words of Eduardo García, a partner of Woody Burger & Lobster, who explains that this brand new concept has arrived in Spain with plans to become a chain and "bring seafood to the general public".

With its first restaurant at the 3C mall in Tres Cantos, Madrid, Woody Burger & Lobster has introduced a long-standing gastronomic concept in Canada and the US east coast into Spain, which involves combining seafood, such as lobster and shrimp, with sandwiches and burgers.

As García told Wiki Spanish Food, the company plans to open a new restaurant in Madrid's Montecarmelo neighborhood, possibly in April. That locale will operate as a franchise and García and his partner, Nuria Muriel (who previously worked in design), will both maintain a stake.

Objective: 12 restaurants by 2015 year-end 

"We plan on retaining a 15-20% stake with a view to supporting entrepreneurs who want to open a Woody Burger & Lobster", says García, who also confirms their plans to open another locale in the center of Madrid, where a potential franchisee is scouting out locations.

The goal of García and Muriel is to have four restaurants up and running in the first year of business, by July 2014, and to have a dozen by the end of 2015.

The partners have certain requirements for future franchisees, which include a minimum area of 140 square meters per locale and the close proximity of a movie theater, if located at a mall.

"We're confident that our food concept will also work as street-level restaurants, especially because we also sell mixed drinks (with gin, rum, whiskey, etc.) for 4.50 euros, and for 2.25 euros during Happy Hour", says García.

When asked about their internationalization plans, García says that although they have been approached about replicating the business model in other countries, their objective at the moment is to have at least five restaurants operating in Spain.

The pair previously had opened a business focused on ham, other Ibérico products, and traditional foods from Spain; however, after a year they decided to close it so they could open this new restaurant, which has a novel concept.

García and Muriel discovered the idea, which is inspired in America, after reading a report in a Spanish newspaper about the first novelty seafood restaurant in London. Before opening their first locale in Tres Cantos, they first travelled to London to see the restaurant, and then to the US and Canada to learn about the concept.

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