European Opening Hours

Spain needs to make a move to adjust its opening hours to coincide with the rest of Europe. In all the member states, with the exception of Spain, clients are seated in restaurants between 12 pm and 2 pm and between 8 pm and 10 pm, more or less. That means that in Spain, people lunch and dine a full hour behind their respective European neighbors. And that’s in the best of cases, considering that in many regions such as Madrid or Andalusia they continue to seat clients in many establishments until 3:30 pm for lunch and midnight for dinner, or even later. Which we consider great if the next service is not delayed.

More and more, the workdays are ending earlier, and people are going to sleep and waking up earlier as a result. For those who are accustomed to waking up early, or for those who are obligated to do so due to their work schedule, etc., they must think twice about going out to eat if it means finishing late – much later than usual – which will alter their sleep cycle causing a reduction of resting hours which will affect their mental state and productivity level the next day. Honestly, an enormous proportion of potential diners simply cannot compensate in their daily lives for a late meal, and so, if they cannot be between the sheets by midnight, they must forego the experience for a quiet night in.

The foreign tourists, who are legion, would also feel less disturbed and more motivated about the dining experience.

Not to mention their respective digestive processes that follow.

Another argument in favor of moving up the nightly opening hours to 8 pm: more and more, as happens in all big cities and in countries with more advanced customs, lunch is often times frugal and taken at work or a nearby place to save time, and the social, gastronomic get-together is postponed until dinner. These days, who can still afford themselves the pleasure of interrupting the workday for three hours? And besides, how is it possible to be productive after enjoying a full meal at a gastronomic restaurant?

Common sense… Not moving the opening hours up to coincide with standardized European customs will only detract future clients.

What are we waiting for?