Tuesday, 7 November 2023, 11:50
Malaga's tourist, technological and business boom is drawing investors from all over the world, but particularly in the hospitality industry.
Big name restaurant chains are expanding to Malaga in a bid to be a part of the province's exponential growth, accounting for 30% of total expenditure, 5% more than 2019, according to data from Brands of Catering association.
The figures are corroborated by the Alsea group, one of the most important restaurant groups operating in the province, with 33 eateries and more than 700 employees in Malaga alone. The company's general manager of real estate expansion Fernando Tendero said the share will continue to grow until it reaches the figures of nearby countries, where it accounts for almost 50% of the market.
The head of the group, which manages Domino's Pizza, Foster Hollywood, Vips, Ginos and Starbucks brands, said Malaga is one of the most thriving provinces in Spain. "We are very happy with the numbers and that is why we continue to bet on it," he said. Malaga is among the five most booming provinces in Spain in terms of real estate and that is why it is always in the spotlight for new projects, he added.
Tendero pointed out that this type of restaurant is becoming increasingly popular because it is recognisable to customers. "People travel more, visit other cities and identify our brands; they know that they will always have the same experience at a competitive price," he said.
Although pitufos and mollete bread rolls will continue to be the main option for the people of Malaga, gourmet breakfasts and snacks is another new trend in the sector. Malaga's hospitality association Mahos said the tourist boom the city is experiencing is contributing to the popularity of these types of meals.
Tourists and visitors are now demanding more sophisticated breakfasts and snacks, made with gourmet and high quality products, as opposed to the traditional pitufo mixto or mollete de zurrapa which have always triumphed in Malaga. This is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. "Customers are looking for culinary experiences and after lunch and dinner, breakfasts and snacks are also reaching this level of quality," it pointed out.
Asked about these new trends that are coming to Malaga, consultancy firm Savills said that the restaurant industry of the future will continue to grow but it will be much more experiential. Director of Retail High Street/Capital Markets in Andalucía Juan Pedro Hernández said Malaga is currently in the top three most interesting cities for operators. He said Malaga's potential is an attraction for all brands, both fast food and quality, and that time will tell. "The diner wants not only to eats or dine but also wants to enjoy a show, a fun and relaxed environment and a quality restaurant," he added.
Lack of space
But with the arrival of these new restaurants comes the issue of available space as they often need premises of between 600 and 1,000 metres in size. "In many cases they are even dropping these requirements because for them it is a priority to be in Malaga," Hernández pointed out. "In the coming months and during 2024 we are going to be fortunate enough to have two powerful restaurant groups in the city centre," he added.
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