Rocking out

Food & Moments Group is a trusted franchisee of Hard Rock International in Spain, managing four restaurants whose reflection of the local culture make them a must-visit for tourists and locals alike

Knowing Hard Rock Café inside-out has been instrumental for David Carmona, CEO of Food & Moment Group – the company that, as of today, operates four of the iconic restaurant chain’s locations in Spain, together with another two Rock Shop retail units. David’s illustrious career has taken him to occupying various corporate roles in Madrid, before moving on to General Manager positions – first in Barcelona and then in Rome.

“This experience on the corporate side gave me a lot of valuable knowledge,” he affirms. “Hard Rock Cafe and I share the same values. Needless to say, I am very passionate about the restaurant business and also extremely results-driven. I always see the big picture, but, at the same time, no detail is too small. Every little aspect is important, therefore, attention to detail in this industry is crucial,” he lists some of the features that characterise him and the business.

Food & Moments was founded in 2007 and has since gradually extended its portfolio of restaurants. The company’s first unit was the Hard Rock Cafe in Mallorca (2008), followed by Marbella (2009), Valencia (2017), and Malaga (2019). Meanwhile, Food & Moments was also entrusted with the operation of two Rock Shop establishments at Mallorca Airport – the first opened in 2014 and the second was launched earlier in 2019.

Over the years, Food & Moments has distinguished itself as a restaurant operator that aims to incorporate into its offering the spirit of the area where its outlets are located. David explains: “For example, the memorabilia displayed across the restaurants include pieces from famous local artists. On top of that, we often organise live music events with local performers and celebrations of certain local holidays, to promote the culture of the specific region. As is the custom, each property also includes a Rock Shop, with nearly all of the merchandise sporting the city name on it. We have created a number of special items, like the City Tee, which feature elements related to the unique traits of each of the cities.”

While strictly following all the recipes already established by Hard Rock International, Food & Moments has also succeeded in squeezing in a couple of regional treats to its menu. “We serve our traditional Local Legendary Burgers, inspired by the cities’ flavours. Noteworthy, in Valencia, our menu includes a burger created by the winner of Top Chef Spain – Begoña Rodrigo, who is also a renowned child of the city. Another mouth-watering delight on offer is the horchata – a local plant milk beverage, traditionally made of chufas (tiger nuts), which, to this day, remains a symbol of Valencia,” David points out.

Behind the scenes, Food & Moments subjects all of its employees to intensive training, following the established brand guidelines closely. The business stresses the importance of teamwork, and the efficient collaboration between people in different positions – from kitchen staff to hosts, waiters, and floor managers, is seen as vital to the creation of an authentic Hard Rock experience, accompanied with good music and high-quality food.

“Speaking of our food proposition, in particular, we never compromise on quality and we are very careful in adhering to our rigorous procedures on food handling and preparation,” David remarks. “All of our food is made with the freshest ingredients day in and day out, making sure it meets the high brand standards set by Hard Rock International.”

Multiple awards bestowed upon Food & Moments by the chain attest to the consistency in the former’s performance. In January 2012, the Mallorca restaurant won the yearly ‘Cafe Merit Award’, as well as the ‘S&M Award’. During the summer of the same year, it was also chosen as the ‘Top of The Rock Cafe’ for August – a feat, which was repeated by Hard Rock Cafe Marbella in December.

“The Mallorca establishment shone bright again in May 2013 when it won the ‘Rewards Contest Award’. Two years later, the entire group reached a significant milestone as we were named ‘Best Franchise Partner of the Year’ – a recognition that has really proven that our formidable relationship with Hard Rock International has been wholesome all along,” David adds.

The busy beginning of the year has understandably been attributed to the opening of Malaga’s first Hard Rock Cafe, as well as the new Rock Shop at Mallorca Airport. David praises the location of the restaurant: “I believe that if anything makes this particular outlet unique, is the fact that it is situated right on one of the docks of the Port of Malaga. From there, our visitors can enjoy spectacular sunsets, while sitting in the rooftop terrace area.

“We have also come to be known as an organisation that partners actively with local institutions in creating opportunities for young people. This approach was put in practice again in setting up the Malaga location when we collaborated with the City Hall and their employment programme. Together, we held a Job Fair in Malaga, which attracted 400 participants and, as a result of it, we hired 80 employees for the restaurant,” he touches upon Food & Moments’ CSR initiatives.

In conclusion, David imparts his long-term vision for the company: “We want to see strong business all year round within the next five years. Right now, we are very seasonal, which continues to yield good results, but we are also working on attracting local customers, as well, which will provide us with a steadier workflow over the course of the year. As our company is getting bigger, we are exploring the opportunities to engage with other brands, too, growing and diversifying our portfolio.”