Strategy

Italian food on board with Chef Express

Thanks to Chef Express, Gruppo Cremonini can boast a strong presence in the International retail travel industry

Chef Express intercepts consumers during their travels and tantalizes them with dishes, which are often developed with the advice of renowned chefs. This Gruppo Cremonini brand operates as a licensee in the catering sector for various other names (Chef Express, Gusto, Mokà, Bagel Factory, Mr. Panino, Gourmè, and Pomodoro e Mozzarella). Now, it has chosen to develop its business in the retail travel industry: food services at railway stations, on trains, in airports, at motorway service stations, all in an increasingly stylish fashion. Airports are a key access point to Italy, as well as a business card for our country’s food products, notes Cristian Biasioni, CEO of Chef Express. While with Gourmé we started with a simple corner, today we can definitely speak of a genuine format. We aim to implement this project in other places that are characterized by intense transit, in particular airports. On the other hand, we are somewhat more cautious on motorways, as these are subject to strict laws when it comes to alcohol. The food service industry has a turnover of around 540 million euro, and may reach 600 million in 2017; 73% of business is generated at the national level, however, the strategy of Chef Express is increasingly moving towards the international market.

Cristian Biasoni, CEO of Chef Express

THE BEST CASE FROM THE UK – England, so far, is the most profitable experience. It accounts for just under 15% of all international sales. Chef Express UK, a dedicated branch of the company, in 2012 expanded its business acquiring Bagel Factory, a British rail station based chain. Moreover, the business has expanded to other countries, especially Belgium, where it generates 7% of its revenues, and in nearby France, with 4.1%.