Listening, to employees, as well as to customers, consumers and all of the people affected by our work, is the base of our policy.
Their voices are a central part of our organization: through programs, studies and research, we trace the market’s needs as well as those of our most valuable consumers, our supports, partners and agents of change.
Our focus is increasingly aimed towards enhancing the relationship with our customers: Customer centricity is key.
To do so, we rely on a research plan based on a synergy between:
- data from internal sources (accounting and non-accounting systems),
- data from external sources, such as landlords and brand partners,
- data from market surveys and analisys (testing concepts, products and services, fundamental tool to understand and anticipate customers needs),
- data from customers' direct opinions gathered through customer satisfaction surveys, toll free numbers, e-mail messages and green postcards that each Country, in different ways, makes available to the public.
Customer satisfaction surveys
“Feel good” has reached its 7th edition in selected locations in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United States and Switzerland. We asked our customers to fill in an online survey on the subjects of offer, service, cleanliness and atmosphere of our points of sale, thus participating in a contest.
Almost 40,000 people participated to the survey.
- In Europe we listen and respond to consumers through toll free numbers, e-mail contacts and green postcards. We also have begun an international program to follow closely the industry trends: the Culinary Council is our food innovation program, working with renowned industry experts, among which chefs and nutrinionists. Every year a specific theme is selected: in 2015, the Culinary Council decided to focus on pasta. This decision resulted in the development of the new Piacere Pasta concept.
- In Europe, in some strategic locations, HappyOrNot columns were installed to collect customer satisfaction feedback on the overall experience in the point of sale.
- In the last 3 years over 60 surveys were carried out on product and concept development and new trends and lifestyles. We recently also introduced a new research method based on consumer lifestyles, showing similarities across different gender and age brackets. This new method enabled Autogrill to identify the so-called traveler tribes.
- Within HMSHost North America and HMSHost International stores we monitor trends on taste and shopping through a collaboration with many different research institutes. We also carry out surveys within our stores to better understand travellers desires and opinions. We gather comments and suggestions from customers via e-mail and toll free number. We forward all received comments to store managers, who offer an answer within 24-48 hours: every customer Is contacted and receives a "Be our Guest" postcard with a coupon to be redeemed at HMSHost stores. . A dedicated Guest Experience team monitors the program, provides guidelines and acts as a point of reference to identify and respond effectively and timely: very frequently, reports are managed and resolved in real time, before the customer leaves the airport.
- At the Amsterdam airport, in addition to the initiatives developed by the Group to measure customer satisfaction, a survey was carried out directly by the airport authority to measure the F&B experience at the airport.
- In July 2015 Autogrill partnered with FAO on food waste reduction. The Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (SAVE FOOD) was launched in 2011 and works world-wide with the public and private sector as well as civil society.
- In the United States the menus are increasingly enriched with fresh and vegetarian produce, with lower fat and calorie content, together with offers of balanced meals (based on the correct proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats). In addition, in conformity with the federal regulations issued by the US Department of Agriculture and by the US Food and Drug Administration, the menus contain indications on the nutritional and calorie content of the various dishes.
- In Belgium, at Brussels airport the offering of veggies and gluten-free products was increased, and all concepts with table service promote low-calorie and gluten-free dishes.
- In Italy, in Bistrots restaurants, after the works completed by the Culinary Council 2014, a pilot project was launched on a new concept of balanced cold dish (a salad bar with fresh ingredients based on consumer preferences, with balanced nutrients sufficient for a complete meal). Moreover, constant attention is paid to religious differences, especially when they influence dietary choices. In many countries Autogrill has developed a menu offering that meets the needs of consumers of different religions, for example Moslems (halal food).
- In Italy, Autogrill collaborates with the Italian Vegetarian Association for the certification of some of the meals, including Ciao restaurant’s 2015 spring menu for vegetarian customers. In 2015 this collaboration led to the launch of the IAV certified Mediterranean Rustichella
- In Switzerland the “Greens” concept, realized in collaboration with the Swiss association BioSuisse, offers organic food for those following a low-fat, low-sodium diet.
- In France, to support the “Programme National Nutrition Santé” all advertising for customers recommends a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Furthermore a campaign was launched to promote consumption of seasonal products.
- In some European countries, in particular Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, menus have been included to meet the needs of people affected by celiac disease, with dedicated cooking areas in order to avoid the contamination of gluten-free foodstuffs during their preparation. In the United States, the offer of gluten-free products has been expanded and training courses are organized on the cooking and preparation of gluten–free produce.
- HMSHost International has also taken steps in this direction. In some airports in Northern Europe (e.g. Helsinki and Amsterdam) and in Asia, the product assortment ranges from gluten-free to lactose-free and also offers different options for vegetarians, organic raw chocolate and organic coffee as well as fair trade ingredients. At the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam the range of fresh produce and vegetarian ingredients was increased with numerous low-calorie and low-fat menus. In addition to gluten-free recipes, some stores offer menus that meet the needs of consumers of different religions (Kosher and Halal).
- In many countries a menu is available that can meet the needs of customers from a range of religions, such as for example Muslims (halal food).
The choice of suppliers, control of the supply chain, and attention to safety are essential elements to guarantee high quality standards.
Relations with our partners grow stronger over time through collaborations regulated by precise policies and procedures and it is in our interest to arrange evaluation tools in order to verify the suitability of suppliers for the continuity of the relationship. Evaluation and control are necessary elements to guarantee high quality standards for all products and services.
In Europe, the auditing process falls within the “Autogrill Excellence Audit” (AEA) program: a team of auditors schedules audits in the stores following a shared grid of controls and assessments to be performed on the implementation of the operating processes (questions concerning food, hygiene, cleaning, commercial issues, work safety, environment, etc.), also taking country-specific aspects into account (local rules or concept characteristics).
Starting in 1999 we introduced in Europe the figure, part of the AEA program, of the Mystery Client: this is a person engaged to assess service quality in points of sale by pretending to be a regular customer. In Italy, after the visits, an assessment form is completed. The results are communicated to the head office and to managers.
In North America there is a program focused on food quality and safety, which is run by people outside the company. The audits are based on the regulations of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Food Guide. In each restaurant an audit is undertaken without notice at least twice a year. The results are used to create action plans and are linked to the MBOs at each location. The Quality Control department monitors the performance of the stores to help the managers concentrate on the improvement areas; it organizes webinars at least twice a year, inviting the stores to participate in examining the results of the audits, the objectives and the possible changes to the program; it has regular meetings with the auditing firm for the ongoing improvement of the process.
HMSHost International also relies on Food Safety programs that envisage the performance of inspections to assess product quality and production activities.
In Italy, the General Purchasing Conditions ask the supplier to adopt our Code of Ethics and the provisions of the Organizational Model under Leg. Decree 231/2001. Social Accountability 8000 certification was obtained for the first time in 2009 and marked our commitment to respect human rights and workers, to protect against the exploitation of minors, and to guarantee occupational health and safety throughout the supply chain.
The Group puts great emphasis on certifications, which testify to the success of its management models and serve as motivation to improve.
In Italy, in 2015 the ISO9001 certifications on Quality Management Systems with the upgrading to the 2015 standard, and the UNI 10854 certification were maintained. The ISO 22000 on Food Safety (for the Milan offices, the Giovi Ovest store and the Orio al Serio airport) was renewed. These certifications were also extended to the italian subsidiary Nuova Sidap. In 2015 Autogrill S.p.A obtained a process certification based on ISO 9001:2015 relative to provision of Project Engineering, Management and Engineering services, and it was the first organization in Europe to implement the Mystery Audit in compliance with UNI TS 11312 in the certification auditing activities of the Quality Management System.
In Spain, the offices of Telefonica in Madrid obtained the renewal of the ISO 22000 certification on the Food Safety Management System. In November 2015, the Pizza Hut store managed by HMSHost International at the Bali airport obtained Halal certification released by MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia). In addition, the stores of the Bali airport were also certified for Food Safety.
The concepts factory
In recent years our attention has been focused on the valorization of two aspects of customer relations:
- “customer centricity” to focus on the customer’s experience, building new models and formulae around their needs
- the search for a “sense of place” in proposing new concepts, in order to connect Food & Beverage locations with the culinary traditions of the regions where they are located, transmitting to the customer a sense of authenticity, identity and belonging..
In Italy Spazio Fucina is a genuine research laboratory where in-house chefs as well as guest chefs who are well-known in Italy and abroad try out ingredients, develop ideas, recipes and food concepts, by translating the inputs from emerging food trends into products which enhance our food & beverage offer. It is also where new technology is tested for product preparation and distribution processes, creating new ways to maintain products’ sensory characteristics while also trying to save energy.
In Italy, in 2015, an agreement has been signed with Garofalo, a traditional pasta factory located in Gragnano, for the use of Garofalo pasta, proposed in a variety of different recipes, to underscore the value of the excellent quality of the local pasta products in all Ciao restaurants scattered throughout the entire Italian territory. The partnership also includes the development of “Piacere Pasta”, a corner dedicated to the dishes based on Garofalo pasta products, to be set up in all the approximately 130 Ciao stores present in Italy. Garofalo pasta will be progressively introduced also in the other European countries in which the Group operates.
HMSHost International, in 2013, has also stipulated a contract for the sale of Sanday’s The Green products at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, for the delivery of fresh produce, organic homemade bread, meat from sustainable farms, cage-free eggs and local vegetables. Obviously, for the packaging, the paper used is F.S.C. certified (derived from sustainably managed forests) and instead of plastics P.L.A. is used (non-plastic, degradable material).
At Frankfurt airport, in June 2015, Europe’s first Kimbo concept store was inaugurated. The “CAFFE’ KIMBO, ESPRESSO DA NAPOLI” project was designed in collaboration with Autogrill. The new concept is one of the most innovative concepts developed by Autogrill and the first of a series of other locations to be opened in the next few years under the same brand. The Kimbo brand values – family, sharing and tradition – inspired the development of a modern and cozy space that also contains several references to the traditional Neapolitan bars and Naples, a multicultural city with a great artisanal culture. Thanks to this fruitful collaboration Kimbo confirmed its status as the traveler’s favorite coffee.
Travelers place great importance on services and the physical spaces and demand differ depending on the type of traveler. Habitual customers, including truck drivers, families, children, the differently able, pets, bikers and business people,
are only a portion of the population that comes into contact with Autogrill every day.
They want more comfortable, more functional and basically more attractive and relaxing interiors, so that stopping becomes a pleasant experience, with modern furniture, better lighting, attention to materials used and more comfortable chairs, tables and stools, all welcome amenities for travelers. To this end, Autogrill Italia pays special attention to the needs of these customers when developing new stores.
Andrea Stella, Design for All Italia and President of Spirito di Stella Onlus
The Mensa di Ravenna and Villoresi Est stores have been certified by the “Design for All” association for their special care in making every service accessible and today the Group tries to implement the best practices learnt from the development of these new stores, replicating, wherever possible, a design that follows the same guidelines.
In the major European countries, for people traveling with children, we have set up baby rooms in the stores, and recreational spaces tailor-made for children, with pint-sized tables and chairs, games, videogames and large-screen TVs showing cartoons.
In Italy, Autogrill and Federazione Italiana Associazioni Diritti Animali e Ambiente (the Italian Federation of Associations for Animal Rights and the Environment) entered into an agreement to favor acceptance of pets in stations. Based on the agreement – which was presented by Vittoria Brambilla (MP) at Villoresi Est, Autogrill stores will apply a sticker on entrance doors to communicate that pets are welcome on a leash. The agreement also includes the distribution of a leaflet targeting all Autogrill network workers, containing information and good practices on pet acceptance and protection during traveler stops.
Specifically for families, HMSHost North America launched a parallel program for children with menus and entertaining games, in addition to options aimed at increasing the purchasing power of families with children. In addition, the majority of the stores have designed special kids’ menus tailored to their specific nutritional needs.
HMSHost also developed Freedom to Choose, a web-based, in-house platform, made available to all network workers, which contains hundreds of recipes and thus lets them plan and execute menu changes more rapidly, to satisfy specific requests made by customers or regional trends.
The lunch box service for on-the-go consumption is made available in the US airports.
HMSHost North America launched the “Trip Happy” project, letting customers buy products at discounted prices in off-peak afternoon hours.
Innovative projects for packaging: rethink of packaging from a sustainability viewpoint.
Between 2012 and 2013 we launched a European project to reduce the packaging of some products (from bags, to cutlery, to plates, etc.) thus making purchasing processes themselves more efficient. We took action to reduce the weight of the triangular tray used for pizza made of a paper/plastic composite. The packaging was lightened by 11% by using a thinner cardboard made from 100% recycled material, thus reducing the environmental impact, including that related to the consumption of water in the production processes.
The lower weight of the packaging enabled a reduction in the environmental impact connected both to saving on the raw material and in handling waste.
A similar change was also made to the plates used for pancakes, thus allowing the costs for these two forms of packaging to be reduced by 9.54%.
Source: Prevention Dossier – projects and solutions for environmentally-friendly packaging. Conai Eco Tool. Conai