For Autogrill, partner brands are the key to diversifying its offering and satisfying consumer desires and needs through the broadest possible mix.
An example of a consolidated partnership is the one between the Group and Starbucks Coffee Company, first stipulated over 20 years ago in the United States and including new activities in Europe. In 2013 Autogrill opened a new Starbucks store inside the Telefonica company restaurant in Madrid, four new Starbucks stores in France (one at the railway stations of Lyon Part-Dieu two at and Gare de l'Est and on the highway inside the Brou store) and at the Namur, Antwerp and Groenplaats railway stations in Belgium.
At the beginning of 2014 a new Starbucks store was opened inside the Brussels underground and two new openings are scheduled for next summer.
In 2013, Autogrill inaugurated the first Burger King restaurant on the French highway network (at Reims), one in Switzerland inside the Pratteln store and another at Lavaux, in Poland. In France, after the success registered by the Burger King restaurant inside the Marseille airport, the brand re-opened a store in Paris, after a long period of absence, inside the St. Lazare railway station. The new store opened on 16 December 2013 and customers lined up to enter in great numbers.
New opportunities opened up after the stipulation of the agreements with Eataly, including the use of the Eataly brand on the motorway channel in 2014, and with the University of Gastronomic Science of Pollenzo, with which the new Bistrot concept was developed.
The Bistrot offers genuine food from local and nonlocal regions, enhancing the value of seasonality, naturalness, typical recipes, traditional regional recipes and hand made products. It leverages on local wine and food products, promoting local resources through synergies established with farmers located in the Lombardy region. In this way the tangible and intangible heritage of the territory is preserved.
"Autogrill has partnered with the University to create concepts incorporating a new vision of food & beverage for travellers combined with sustainable quality." Carlo Petrini Dean of the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo
In addition, thanks to its new function of break and eat, the Bistrot stimulates socialization. The first store was inaugurated in mid-2013 in Milan, in a landmark location (the former third class waiting room at the Milan Central Railway Station), the Bistrot has preserved the same decor and has introduced reading corners and places for cultural exchange, as well as scheduling culinary events with chefs, food bloggers, sommeliers and local producers. In this way consumers play an active role in the exchange of information about food and diet, food origin and consumption. The objective is to develop a sustainable location with particular attention to environmental protection, culture and the local economy also through the use of natural materials in interior design (like, for instance, chairs of the first years of the 20th century, lined with fabrics recovered from old jute bags that had been used to transport wheat and coffee); the use of wooden floorboards taken from old houses being demolished or renovated; extensive use of wood grown in controlled plantations, etc.). All this is done with a view to limiting waste and favoring virtuous practices (for instance through the offering of the so-called "mayor's water" which is supplied free of charge from the tap).
In particular, the Food offering includes bread and pizza made on location with cultured yeast, handmade pasta with local eggs and wheat, naturally fermented beer, wine from local vineyards, fresh vegetables, a "Street Food Corner" offering regional specialties, fruit juices and fresh smoothies made with fruits and vegetables in season. In addition to the restaurant there are also a market area and services studied ad hoc for the type of location: free Wi-Fi for customers, 10 Ipads for free consultation, screens with the train timetable in real time and sockets for recharging PCs and cell phones. There is also a selection of wines, books and other reading material to peruse while comfortably seated in one of the store's lounge areas.
The Bistrot concept has proven very successful and will thus be replicated in other countries in 2014.
The first international opening is scheduled at the Düsseldorf airport in Germany, with an array of typically Mediterranean products. Great attention will also be paid to local traditions (it is for example expected to have a barbecue grill instead of the table for handmade pasta) and km zero products.
“What really sets Autogrill apart is its leadership in hospitality and innovation, making it a prime example in the business. Together we are continuously re-developing Autogrill's range, experimenting and taking risks".
Maarten De Groof , CCO–Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, The Netherlands