Rosa Madrid joined Restalia in 2013 as the Director of European Expansion and head of European internationalisation of the brand 100 Montaditos. One year later she is faced with a new professional challenge within the company. “Rosa has vast experience in the field of retail and a great reputation in the industry, having developed more than 25 shopping centres in her career. Some, like the first Ikea store in Andalusia, represented a milestone in the industry,” said Virginia Donado, CEO of Restalia.
Rosa Madrid worked as sales director for Jones Lang Lasalle in Andalusia up until 1999. From then and up until 2005, she became regional director of Knight Frank in Andalusia for all business lines. During the subsequent eight years, she worked as associate director of the Retail area for Spain in the same company.
Rosa Madrid has a degree in Law from the University of Seville and holds an MBA from Instituto Internacional San Telmo.
What is the main competitive advantage of the Restalia business model?
Fundamentally, it is threefold:
– We give the franchisee full support, from the first moment of applying for and negotiating financing and location to the day-to-day business such as marketing or operations. We are experts in franchises and all departments of the company are franchise-oriented.
– Our customer knowledge is very accurate. The consumer is evolving very quickly, changing their tastes and consumer habits depending on the environment. And we, who are lucky enough to have the consumer in “our home”, without middlemen, are always very aware of what the customer wants or demands and we are quick to adapt what we offer to these demands.
– Finally, innovation. We are the most innovative company in the industry and a pioneer in creating restaurant concepts. We have an innovation department consisting of chefs, architects, designers, branding experts and trend scouts that allows us to be at the forefront of our industry.
In addition, the support offered by our brands, known and loved by consumers, is certainly one of the keys to our success.
In Spain you have three brands, 100 Montaditos, La Sureña and The Good Burger. What strategy do each of them follow? Do they have common or different strategies?
Each brand has its own personality, and therefore its own brand strategy, although it is true that they share some points. We always seek out the best locations, both in shopping centres and in the high street, and we always look for maximum profitability for the franchisee.
Regarding the differences, each of them is aimed at a different target audience, the product offering is completely different. TGB Gourmet burgers paired with beers have nothing to do with prawns and ham at the Cervecería La Sureña, and the consumer experience offered to our clients is unique.
Currently, you have only ventured abroad with 100 Montaditos. Do you have plans to launch La Sureña and TGB in the international market?
All Restalia brands are created with the intention of going international, but we always prefer to strengthen and consolidate the brand in our country before venturing abroad. This is what we did with 100 Montaditos and this is what we will do with other brands; although it is true that the expansion of TGB is still very solid and burgers are a very international product, so TGB outside our borders is not being ruled out.
Which markets do you consider are the most promising and therefore a priority for the international expansion of Restalia?
Our expansion strategy is focused on two areas: America and Europe. Our priority are markets that are close geographically and/or culturally, so the choice of Italy and Latin America are key expansion areas, along with the United States, which has a gastronomic culture that is very accustomed to international cuisine. We will establish 100 Montaditos in these areas before tackling new markets.
What are the main selection criteria that determine the entry of the Group into a new market? Do you operate through franchises in all markets?
Cultural closeness is important. In short, food is culture and customs when consuming food are crucial to the success or failure of the introduction of a new brand. 100 Montaditos adapts 20% of the menu to local tastes, but the remaining 80% is the same menu that is served in Spain. They are typical Spanish flavours, so the culinary uses and customs of the destination country are crucial. The presence of other brands and local chains and their introduction and the market’s capacity for absorption in terms of number of establishments are other factors that we have to consider.
What role does the brand play in the process of internationalisation?
The brand is key to the process of internationalisation because of what it represents and what is behind it. If the support of Grupo Restalia is fundamental in Spain, it is even more important outside our country because of the solvency and quality that our group represents.
For us, it is very gratifying to see the strength of our brands in countries where we are not yet established. 100 Montaditos, for example, arouses great international interest.
What challenges does the company face over the next five years?
Consolidation and growth are the top two in the 5-year plan. Also, innovation, a key objective of the company, is to continue generating and introducing concepts into the market that meet the demands of the end customer, and undoubtedly furthering our internationalisation – always with the utmost caution and guarantee in each new country – will remain one of our priorities.