Here comes success - Here comes Spain!

The Spanish franchise industry continues to grow at a very healthy rate and as major brands begin to expand internationally, several are looking to make an impact in the UK. The Franchise Magazine looks at the opportunities for prospective franchise owners to enjoy a taste of the Spanish recipe for success.

It has the world's second biggest tourist industry, the world's second most widely-spoken language, and produces almost half the world's olive oil.

Its rich cultural heritage spans everything from Pablo Picasso and Placido Domingo to paella and bullfighting and it's now home to a thriving and exciting franchise industry.

Welcome (or, more appropriately, bienvenida) to Spain. Spain has seen a massive growth in franchising over the last decade or so, with a massive 246 per cent rise in the number of franchises operating in the country and it's a growth that's largely been achieved through home-grown efforts - more than 80 per cent of all franchises in the country are Spanish companies.

By far the highest number of franchise operations in Spain are in the retail sector. Many of these brands now feel established enough to expand on an international scale and are eagerly looking to the UK to broaden their horizons.

Here we take a closer look at just a few of the exciting opportunities currently available from Spanish companies looking for UK-based franchise owners.

Canas y Tapas offers an authentic Spanish dining experience from breakfast to dinner in a traditional environment. With an extensive variety of recipes and a great range of wines and beers, Canas y Tapas is a proven business model in Spain and has been been successfully exported to Portugal, France and the UK.

Established in 1993, Cantina Mariachi is the leading chain of Mexican restaurants in Europe, frequented by over five million customers annually. Well-respected for its authentic food and lively atmosphere, the franchise network comprises more than 150 restaurants in the EU.

This major Spanish restaurant and fast food group currently operates almost 500 food outlets and has franchise opportunities with several established brands such as Foster's Hollywood (American-style, movie-themed restaurants), Canas y Tapas (traditional Spanish restaurants - see above) and Il Tempietto (Italian cuisine).

Inverpoint is a business consultancy specialising in help and advice on the purchase and sale of small and medium sized businesses. It offers an integral, specialised and personalised service, and already has offices operating in Mexico and Portugal.

First established in 1988, La Venta restaurants offer customers delicious Spanish cuisine in a friendly, modern atmosphere. A huge success in its home country due to its stylish brand image and high quality food, the company is now successfully expanding into Europe with a distinctive franchise package.

For over 20 years, Mangas have been using the very best materials and modern tailoring techniques to produce a top quality range of suits and shirts. With over 250 shirt designs, 50 different collars and 20 types of cuffs, Mangas can justifiably claim to craft uniquely individual clothing. With a successful franchise network of 26 stores in Spain and a further ten across Europe, Mangas is now looking to increase its UK presence.

Naturhouse is Spain's leading dietetics and nutrition company, providing a range of specialised services and exclusive products. In 1999 it started a franchise programme to expand internationally - and can now be found in over 15 countries around the world.

A complete party supplies store, Party Fiesta is a dynamic and successful brand with over 50 stores in Spain, Portugal and France - and is now looking to spread the celebrations to the UK. With a stock of over 10,000 items, each Party Fiesta store is a comprehensive source of everything you could possibly want for every kind of party - from stationery and fancy dress to tableware and helium-filled balloons.

Expand your horizons with Murcia Villas

An exciting franchise opportunity to join an established and successful business model with an excellent reputation and branding is now available with Murcia Villas SL - a large and well-established company based in the Costa Calida area of Spain.

With a proven track record of over eight years in property sales, management and lettings, Murcia Villas has grown steadily and successfully with an established franchise network of offices. "This is an exciting time in the marketplace and an ideal time for a fresh start in a recovering market," says Hugh James (pictured), Director of Murcia Villas.

"A Murcia Villas franchise enables you to build a profitable business from an early stage, using our tried and tested business model and your commercial experience."

You don't need to speak Spanish to consider this opportunity - Murcia Villas is simply looking for enthusiastic people who want a fantastic work/life balance and are willing to move to Spain to start the franchise. No previous experience is necessary, as a full training package with plenty of support is provided.

The initial investment includes everything you'll need to get going - from training and start-up marketing material to promotion and launch.

A dedicated marketing team ensures the maximum potential is achieved for all properties, and management and maintenance teams are on hand to ensure all clients' property needs are met. Bilingual staff are available to assist with any matters requiring fluent Spanish.

The franchise will suit anyone looking to move abroad, seeking a customer-focused career where hard work equals reward - with the added benefit of a high standard of living in one of Europe's most exciting countries.