business

Drperson

Well-known member
Sep 19, 2008
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there is a jazz bar in puerto plata. the owner is\was a musician.thereare some upscale areas in puerto plata catering to well off dominicans.
there is a georgeous restaraunt on the beach in costambar.
any bar business is a tough business as you know. here even tougher
 

Joseph NY2STI

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2020
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there is a jazz bar in puerto plata. the owner is\was a musician.thereare some upscale areas in puerto plata catering to well off dominicans.
there is a georgeous restaraunt on the beach in costambar.
any bar business is a tough business as you know. here even tougher
Do you recall the name or location? I'm always looking for live music.
 
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cavok

Silver
Jun 16, 2014
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Cabarete
A sports bar would only work where there are a lot of American expats. Even in places like Cabarete and Sosua, they struggle. Mostly German and Italian expats in Pto. Plata. Piano bar? Fuhgeddaboudit!
 

MariaRubia

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
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I have run hospitality businesses here for many years and I would seriously advise against setting this up. In any bar you have to pay 18% ITBIS and 10% Propina Legal, so basically a third of what you charge immediately goes. Bars use a lot of electricity for refrigeration and for A/C, and we live in a country which is one of the most expensive on the globe for electricity. You need a lot of staff to work in a bar, and the minimum wage is RD$ 20,000 a month. And then you have to think of the cost of your stock, you're mainly going to be selling beers and there is a crazy small margin on beer in this country.

Just walk around and see how many closed down bars there are, how many hundreds of thousands of dollars people have pumped into setting up bars here and how many have failed.

If you are determined to start a business here, don't do anything in hospitality. Not hotels, not AirBnB's, not a restaurant and definitely not a bar. There are plenty of other businesses owned by expats that work, but they are in completely different sectors.
 

El Hijo de Manolo

It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!
Dec 10, 2021
4,124
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Dominican Republic
I have run hospitality businesses here for many years and I would seriously advise against setting this up. In any bar you have to pay 18% ITBIS and 10% Propina Legal, so basically a third of what you charge immediately goes. Bars use a lot of electricity for refrigeration and for A/C, and we live in a country which is one of the most expensive on the globe for electricity. You need a lot of staff to work in a bar, and the minimum wage is RD$ 20,000 a month. And then you have to think of the cost of your stock, you're mainly going to be selling beers and there is a crazy small margin on beer in this country.

Just walk around and see how many closed down bars there are, how many hundreds of thousands of dollars people have pumped into setting up bars here and how many have failed.

If you are determined to start a business here, don't do anything in hospitality. Not hotels, not AirBnB's, not a restaurant and definitely not a bar. There are plenty of other businesses owned by expats that work, but they are in completely different sectors.
But yet no one will heed your advice. This is because there is simply no shortage of gringos in DR who think they can run any business better! Meanwhile, I’ve never come across one solitary person wanting to open a hospitality business in Dominican who could even begin to understand food costs. I bet a month’s income no one could even begin to comprehend how to derive what it costs to deliver a key to a room or serve a plate of scallops to a customer.
 

josh2203

Bronze
Dec 5, 2013
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But yet no one will heed your advice. This is because there is simply no shortage of gringos in DR who think they can run any business better! Meanwhile, I’ve never come across one solitary person wanting to open a hospitality business in Dominican who could even begin to understand food costs. I bet a month’s income no one could even begin to comprehend how to derive what it costs to deliver a key to a room or serve a plate of scallops to a customer.
You have many rather strong posts, if I may, but on this, I fully agree with you. I also agree with the poster you quoted...

Based on what I'm saying this? I have written many times that there are many entrepreneurs in my wife's family. None in hospitality, never have been. They are mostly in real estate, being landlords and building and such. In a small scale, we're not talking about anything fancy in terms of company size.

However, in the past, principally my wife's sister and her family, have operated many businesses, also small restaurants or cafeterias if you will. They have all been financially successful. However, there is an amount of work behind the scenes you cannot imagine, stress, hurdles, you name it. They are not doing this anymore as they had the change to move to real estate. Best decision ever.

My own dear wife was operating her own smallish business in clothing when we lived in the DR. She was very good at that. However, running a business like my wife's sister did or my wife did, requires deep understanding of local things, usually of which none or very little is "official" information of knowledge, but you have to just know how to do things. You have to be respected by your clientele, otherwise it just does not work.
 
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RDKNIGHT

Bronze
Mar 13, 2017
2,812
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Greetings to all,

I'm thinking about opening a sport bar in Puerto Plata , this is my time opening a business in foreign country . Any advice pro-and cons?
Had anyone operated an business in DR before ?
per chance are you related to EL REY?
 

MariaRubia

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,362
3,158
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You have many rather strong posts, if I may, but on this, I fully agree with you. I also agree with the poster you quoted...

Based on what I'm saying this? I have written many times that there are many entrepreneurs in my wife's family. None in hospitality, never have been. They are mostly in real estate, being landlords and building and such. In a small scale, we're not talking about anything fancy in terms of company size.

However, in the past, principally my wife's sister and her family, have operated many businesses, also small restaurants or cafeterias if you will. They have all been financially successful. However, there is an amount of work behind the scenes you cannot imagine, stress, hurdles, you name it. They are not doing this anymore as they had the change to move to real estate. Best decision ever.

My own dear wife was operating her own smallish business in clothing when we lived in the DR. She was very good at that. However, running a business like my wife's sister did or my wife did, requires deep understanding of local things, usually of which none or very little is "official" information of knowledge, but you have to just know how to do things. You have to be respected by your clientele, otherwise it just does not work.

Without wishing to smear your wife's reputation, a lot of businesses here survive because they don't pay taxes, they don't pay electricity, they get their stock imported without paying the import duties because they know someone in Aduanas etc. etc. Even big businesses here are normally running a few scams. Try to set up a legit business, paying all the taxes, respecting all the laws - as you will pretty much be forced to do as a new gringo - and then see how hard it is.

I think the reality is that people come here and walk along the beach, have a few nice days, see all the available young ladies and men who declare undying love , see how cheap real estate is in comparison with their country, and the first time they have a hard day in their country they are dreaming of a new life here. They come with their eyes wide shut, and if you try to tell them that this is a pretty country but a very very hard one to live in, and that most expats don't make more than a couple of years here, and they will just tell you to shut up.
 
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Northern Coast Diver

Private Scuba Guide
Feb 23, 2020
761
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Sosua
Oooooooh could this be Ken? I really miss Ken. And what happened to that guy who set up a bar in Sosua without any alcohol but had lots of candy, how well is that one doing?
I don't know about Ken, but that candy and snack bar in Sosua closed so quick that I never had a chance to stop in.
 

josh2203

Bronze
Dec 5, 2013
1,693
608
113
Oooooooh could this be Ken? I really miss Ken. And what happened to that guy who set up a bar in Sosua without any alcohol but had lots of candy, how well is that one doing?
Then there was the poster who was trying to ship their mattress to the US after a business venture in PUJ I think who sent the DR govt and everyone to h**l and the other who had a cafe or something in POP who was selling the whole inventory shortly after beginning I think?
 

Peterj

Bronze
Oct 7, 2002
1,474
363
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Dominican Republic
Then there was the poster who was trying to ship their mattress to the US after a business venture in PUJ I think who sent the DR govt and everyone to h**l and the other who had a cafe or something in POP who was selling the whole inventory shortly after beginning I think?
Didn't they move those posts to the Clown Bin...🥳🤡
 
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cavok

Silver
Jun 16, 2014
9,739
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Cabarete
That new restaurant that opened in the old Chinese restaurant location in Cabarete, which is now the second one to have opened there(the "soul food" restaurant being the first), closed down about two weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Chinese restaurant continues doing very well.
 

Pikobello

Active member
Nov 12, 2020
248
238
43
Santo Domingo
Without wishing to smear your wife's reputation, a lot of businesses here survive because they don't pay taxes, they don't pay electricity, they get their stock imported without paying the import duties because they know someone in Aduanas etc. etc. Even big businesses here are normally running a few scams. Try to set up a legit business, paying all the taxes, respecting all the laws - as you will pretty much be forced to do as a new gringo - and then see how hard it is.
Totally correct, and when it's hard to run a buisness for a Dominican, how difficult will it be for an Expat without knowing spanish and the laws. My advise tothe OP: save your money or spend it for holidays, no stress at all.
 
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