Constant control guarantees quality

A complex chain of steps to guarantee the quality of the products offered: from pet care to hygiene in the workplace and safety in transportation.

Guaranteeing food product safety is a constant priority for Autogrill Group. What would happen if just one small step in the chain that brings a food product from the producer to the consumer were neglected? The management systems adopted over the years in the various countries in which the Group operates are very complex, because product quality and hygiene are not exclusively limited to the food industry, but depend on the joint commitment of all players involved: producers, processors and those responsible for transportation, right up to the sale to the final consumers.

The self-control system adopted by Autogrill is successful because it is based on common objectives shared with its business partners. The control process is accomplished in close collaboration with suppliers, carriers and brand partners and it ensures compliance with specific quality and safety standards during all the phases of the process.

The system becomes operational in the initial supplier selection phase, and, specifically, in relation to suppliers belonging to the food and food distribution category, those at the highest risk. These are subject to preventive audits to verify compliance with Company standards.
When this phase is completed, the so-called “product standard” is defined, which is an integral part of the purchase contract. The product standard comprises all the characteristics of the raw materials purchased, including production criteria and transportation to Autogrill warehouses for storage. In addition, over the entire product life cycle (food and non–food), specific alert systems are put in place, which allow for the prompt withdrawal of any critical goods. Thanks to a direct and consolidated relation established over time with the major product suppliers of Travel Retail, the Group is constantly committed to offering its consumers original and genuine products. In fact, H.A.C.C.P. (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) procedures envisage microbiological analyses along the entire supply chain, which are conducted with a frequency considered appropriate based on a risk assessment analysis. Other types of audits are also performed, by both external professionals and in-house personnel, to verify the implementation of the hygiene-health standards in the stores and also verify the correct application of the self–control plan of the Management System adopted in the different countries in which the Group operates.


A special traveller to achieve increasingly high control standards in the different aspects relating to cleaning, courtesy and improvement in the quality of the service provided.

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

The Mystery Client has become a common element for the entire Autogrill Group, adopted by the other Group companies acquired over time. Today, it represents an important monitoring operating tool, not only to verify the quality of the service rendered, but also to get to know customer orientation and provide suggestions for ongoing improvement. The Mystery Client visits the stores – franchises included – and asks for products and services with the precise aim of monitoring, on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis, four major areas:

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

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 covering all service aspects. The Mystery Client’sfindings are also entered in the MBO (Management By Objectives) system of network and headquarters directors and managers.



Over the years the Group has demonstrated its commitment to excellence in the quality of food products and service, in particular through ISO 9001:2000 quality certification obtained by Autogrill France, at the Marseille airport, Autogrill Italia and Aldeasa.
In addition, some ISO22000:2005 certified stores are present in Italy, Spain and Greece. This standard is applied for, on a voluntary basis, by food industry operators. It defines requisites for a management system that specifically regards food safety and hygiene and is addressed to all organizations in the food chain, from the producer to the consumer.

Autogrill further enhanced its commitment through the exclusive use of eggs from free-ranging chickens, demonstrated by the Good Egg Award, received by Autogrill Italia in 2009 and by Autogrill Spain in 2010 and attributed by Compassion in World Farming, the leading international organization for the protection of farmed animals. In 2010, Autogrill confirmed this business philosophy and its commitment towards farming protection at the European level for the coming years, including hog farming.

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