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Why do many bars and restaurants in Spain close on Mondays?

The Local Spain
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Why do many bars and restaurants in Spain close on Mondays?
Why do bars and restaurants in Spain close on Mondays? Photo: ANDER GILLENEA / AFP

If you live in Spain or come here regularly on holiday, you’ll probably have noticed that Monday is the day when many bars and restaurants stay closed and you have far fewer options than any other day of the week. But why is this?


If you live in Spain, this probably doesn't bother you too much, but if you're here on vacation for only a few days and the restaurant you wanted to go to is closed when you turn up, it can be quite annoying. 

Many other establishments in Spain close up on a Sunday, including shops, supermarkets, offices, as well as some museums, so why do many of Spain’s some-81,000 restaurants close on Mondays?

Eating out is an important part of Spanish culture and everyday life. Spaniards eat out to socialise and even for entertainment purposes. Many people don't even think twice about eating out, it's not only for special occasions, it's a weekly occurrence. It’s not uncommon that one of the main weekend activities in Spain will be going out for a long lazy lunch with family or friends.

The report 'Moments of consumption inside and outside the home' carried out by AECOC Shopperview in collaboration with Campofrío, Frit Ravich and Lactalis Foodservice found that 32 percent of Spaniards eat out for lunch in bars or restaurants at least once a week.  

For a long time, Spaniards ate out more than citizens of most other European countries. Of course, this changed during the pandemic when many bars and restaurants were forced to close and Spaniards were confined to their homes for months. 

Since life has returned somewhat to normal eating out has been back on the menu in Spain, however, more recently the cost of living crisis is forcing Spaniards to cut down once again on one of their favourite pastimes. 


There are several reasons why bars and restaurants choose to close on Mondays, but primarily it’s because it’s not financially worthwhile.

Monday is still a relatively quiet day when it comes to eating out. Between Tuesday and Sunday, the number of customers increases with the busiest days being Thursday to Sunday.

The weekend is when most Spaniards choose to eat out. Of course, this is the time that people have time off work and so can spend the time enjoying a meal out at a restaurant and not have to rush back to the office. With so many Spaniards eating out on a Sunday, it’s unlikely that they will eat out again the next day on a Monday.

Because of this, they typically choose the following day – Monday – to give their staff a well-deserved rest. The majority of bars and restaurants in Spain are small, family-run establishments so can’t always afford to hire more staff to run their businesses when they want a day off.  


Another reason they close is because markets, wholesale supermarkets and other suppliers are not open on Sundays, so in order to be able to provide fresh food to customers they need to be able to restock during the week. Closing on a Monday gives them the ideal opportunity to do this and to buy more fresh products for the week to come.  

One possible reason why fewer people choose to go out to eat on Mondays is that often if a restaurant is open on that day and has a new member of wait staff or chef starting, Monday will be their first day. This means that the quality and service may not be as good as normal.

These days, however, more and more bars and restaurants are opening seven days a week. Many places are still trying to claw back some of the money they lost during the forced closures during the pandemic. Many restaurants have had to resort to freezing food in order to stay open, but if you're still hoping for the freshest of produce, Mondays are still best avoided. 


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