How This 115-Year-Old Restaurant Stands the Test of Time

Bodega Vasconia, a 115-year-old tapas bar in Barcelona, Spain, is no stranger to word-of-mouth. Here’s how they use modern marketing techniques like Tripadvisor to continue to grow their business.

Welcome to Bodega Vasconia, Spain

Bodega Vasconia, steps away from the scenic Montjuïc gardens in Barcelona, serves traditional Spanish food with a twist. Bodega Vasconia has been in operation for generations, only recently acquired by Jordi Arnedo, the Manager, and his restaurant group. With a 115-year run, they knew they had to keep the magic alive. So how did they do it? “We returned to look at the recipes they had been doing forever, modernizing some things and keeping the family atmosphere,” says Arnedo.

Taking over for a beloved multi-generational business isn’t easy. But with seven employees managing 1.8 rotations at night and 1.2 rotations at lunch for ten tables of four, they’re keeping things busy. With great food and great service, it’s no surprise that they received a Certificate of Excellence in 2019.

How They Use Tripadvisor

Part of how they became so popular is their reviews on Tripadvisor. Often, receiving more reviews goes back to simply connecting with guests. So how does Bodega Vasconia get reviews? Says Arnedo, “We use Tripadvisor as our primary marketing tool.”

“We [have our staff] ask for reviews and we also use our blackboards and reminder cards given by the server,” says Arnedo. The reminder cards are a great way to encourage diners to leave reviews after their visit. Then they use Tripadvisor Premium’s Favorite Review feature to highlight one of the many great five-bubble reviews left by their enthusiastic customers.

Once those reviews come in, Arnedo makes sure that they respond. While it takes time, it’s always worth it. “The advice I would give other restaurants is that they have to have patience in answering the reviews,” says Arnedo. “For the negative reviews, learn from them — but [don’t be afraid] to answer with authority about your restaurant.”

Here’s a typical response to a five-bubble review, thanking the customer and adding a little bit about what their brand is all about:

“Thank you very much for your review and for recommending us to your friends and family when they pass through Barcelona! We are a small restaurant of more than 115 years with five generations serving tapas, paellas, wines, and beers to our customers, and we’re well known in Barcelona. We hope to see you again!”

And here’s an example of the hospitality they provide when they receive a one- or two-bubble review, thanking the customer for their review, apologizing for what went wrong, and working on making it right:

“Thank you for your review. We will take to heart your feedback and work on it, and we are sorry that your service was slow and you didn’t like the patatas bravas. The only thing we can say is that this Easter we had a flood of customers and one of our cooks was sick, so we could not be as fast as we usually are. I see that you are not from here. If you ever come back, do not hesitate to contact me personally so that we can make it up to you.”

The Results

With Tripadvisor, we have reached more customers and grown our business by 35%. Jodi Arnedo

Restaurant Manager, Bodega Vasconia

Bodega Vasconia is split down the middle between Barcelona locals and tourists from around the world coming to their restaurant. Tripadvisor Premium helps them showcase their restaurant’s history and what makes them special — like their hospitality. Says Arnedo, “With Tripadvisor, we have reached more customers and grown our business by 35%.”

Stand the test of time with Tripadvisor Premium

Stand the test of time with Tripadvisor Premium

Last Updated: 12 July 2019

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