How to find the correct route

Providing travelers with increasingly innovative services means completing periodic analyses to better understand customers, authorities and landlords the key characteristics of the markets in which the Group operates.

Knowing the three key stakeholders — landlords, franchisors (licensed brand) and customers — is of the essence to face the challenges of the two business units with a multiple and customized offering based on customer needs. For this reason Autogrill relies on a large research platform that combines data deriving from internal sources (that is data retrieved from accounting and non-accounting systems) with data collected from external sources, including market surveys and analyses specifically focused on Food & Beverage and Travel Retail.

In addition to the data resulting from the relationship with landlords and brand partners, different analyses are performed on concepts, products and services. These are key initiatives to understand and anticipate customer needs. These survey tools are also supported by direct opinions expressed by customers through an ample array of tools that allow them to give concrete feedback on how they perceive the service, including customer satisfaction surveys, toll free numbers, e–mail contacts and the green cards.

Product and concept design is always triggered by travelers’ expectations. Who are the customers? What do they want? The outcomes of the analyses carried out reveal a profile of a traveler who is aware of his/ her role, wants to be a leading actor, is demanding and makes purchases knowingly.

In the next page are some significant opinions of customers, the points of view of those who were involved in the market studies through interviews and focus groups. Contributions like those below were put at the center of development and innovation that led to the creation of new products and services which are analyzed in the Product section.

Axes used in market research to capture customers’ opinion

Axes used in market research to capture customers’ opinion

“Feel good?” a targeted focus on the satisfaction of our customers

Feel Good?A survey involving more than 36,000 customers on issues regarding the offering, service, cleaning and the atmosphere in the over 500 Food & Beverage, Travel Retail & Duty-Free points of sale the world over

The Group’s vision is “Making the travelers’ day better” but how is it possible to make this value even more real? We have decided to strongly focus on travelers and have filled out a customer satisfaction survey called “ Feel good?”.

The “ Feel good?” project enters its third phase in 2011, becoming Autogrill Group’s annual customer satisfaction program on a global scale, which, for the first time, is also extended to the United States and Travel Retail with a quantitative survey. Specifically, in the US research was done in 2010 for the purpose of designing the questionnaire to use in the “ Feel good?” interviews in 2011.

In 508 different locations (125 more than in the previous year) customers were asked to fill in an online questionnaire. A total of 36,458 people (25,260 for Food & Beverage and 11,198 for Travel Retail & Duty-Free) did so.

The “ Feel good?” results enabled the organization to outline an even more precise and accurate picture of Autogrill customers’ needs and expectations. These results were used to provide a foundation for developing new solutions to increase customer satisfaction in the two business segment s, in every country and channel and for every type of traveler.

Overview on the countries involved

 Food & Beverage Travel Retail  
Francia  Spagna  Svizzera  Belgio Italia Paesi Bassi  Stati Uniti  Gran Bretagna  Spagna  Total
No. of locations
81  30  14  20  223  117  17  508 
No. interviews
2,793  946  1,078  2,568  12,644  560  4,671  2,452  8,746  36,458 
No. of locations
85  29  16  41  211  8 *  - - 383 
No. interviews
4,957  523  1,572  3,612  18,997  769  1,671 *  - - 30,430 
No. of locations
85  28  17  -
237  - - - 368 
No. interviews
3,577  1.322  1,375  -
12,746  522  - - - 19,542 
* Qualitative survey

The Mystery Client

In 1999, the need to monitor the quality of the service and therefore improve the offering led Autogrill Group to the introduction, Europe-wide, of the “Mystery Client”, an employee who visits the stores pretending to be a normal customer.

The Mystery Client has become an effective element over the years, adopted in all the countries and business segment s in which the Group operates. The operational controls allow to monitor both service quality and customer orientation.

On a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis, in the Group stores — franchises included — Mystery Clients monitor four major areas:

  • the store: cleanliness, order, functionality;
  • operators’ behavior: courtesy, efficiency;
  • food quality: freshness, quantity, temperature;
  • commercial aspects: correct change, queuing at the cash counter.

After the visit the Mystery Client fills out a form, in which s/he evaluates the store visited in detail. The results are then promptly communicated to the main offices and store managers for the purpose of designing improvement actions. The Mystery Client’s findings are also entered in the MBO system of network and headquarters directors and managers.

In Travel Retail the Mystery Client has the objective of monitoring employee courtesy, kindness and competence at the moment of sale. The team of Mystery Clients at WDF is composed of approximately forty employees who rate the operators’ performance in the major UK airports over the year. Unlike Food & Beverage, where the overall store performance is rated, in Travel Retail every individual operator is monitored in relation to four major areas: “about me; about my products; about my store; about everything else”. The evaluation of each of these four areas determines the overall average score, which can be: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Red. In the case in which an operator receives a Gold or a Platinum evaluation, s/he receives a voucher in products for a total of approximately £ 50-100, as an additional incentive to improve customer service.


Social certifications and regulations

In Food & Beverage certifications focus on the management of products belonging to the food category, in addition to employees’ health and safety:

  • in Italy, in 2011 the ISO22000 (referring to the food safety management system) was renewed at the Milanofiori offices and in other two stores, Aeroporto Malpensa Terminal 2 and Giovi Ovest. Moreover, the headquarters also renewed the ISO 9001 certification concerning the quality management system. Autogrill Italy also obtained the renewal of the SA8000 Ethical Certification, the international standard encompassing the requisites for ethically correct behavior of enterprises and the production supply chain vis-à-via workers ;
  • the offices of Telefonica in Madrid also renewed the ISO 22000 certification in 2011.

In Travel Retail safety in the stores and warehouses represents a priority:

  • in 2010 and 2011 World Duty Free completed the procedures for the renewal of the OHSAS 18001 certification (focused on health and safety of employees at work) in fifteen locations (eleven airports, three distribution centers and the headquarters) for health and safety. The 2012 objective is the certification of the stores managed according to the OHSAS 18001 standard.