COLOMBIA - Industry
Former Country Manager, Grupo Alsea Colombia
Francisco Tosso is an industrial engineer from the University of Santiago de Chile, with an MBA from the same university and a master’s in supply chain management from Montpellier Business School in France. He has over 20 years of international business experience in food services and sourcing for leading companies in the industry. He was Country Manager Colombia for Alsea, the leading restaurant operator in Latin America, representative of Domino’s, Starbucks and Archies.
TBY talks to Francisco Tosso, Former country Manager of Grupo Alsea Colombia.
What makes Grupo Alsea stand out as a leader in the restaurant sector, in Colombia and worldwide?
Alsea has existed for 32 years, having been created in Mexico with the undertaking of two brothers. Currently we have over 4,000 outlets. What makes us successful in our segment is our drive and orientation towards the consumer: we are always looking for disruptive solutions to cater to their needs. Adaptability is also key. Whenever we enter a country, we become part of the landscape. Our brands adopt country-specific characteristics that ensure they are well received, a concrete example being Starbucks. Starbucks Colombia is the only branch that produces its coffee locally—our coffee is 100% Colombian. Alsea has a global spirit, but with local sensitivity.
What are the vital processes within the environmental responsibility strategy of the Alsea group, and how do they work to optimize not only the use of energy, but also the reduction of waste?
Environmental management can be reduced to two aspects. The first being waste, and the second, energy. Regarding waste from Starbucks, for example, we use straws. For the materials with which we work, it is no longer enough for them to be recyclable, they have to be compostable. And in that sense, we are one step ahead of the industry. We are constantly looking for solutions, and each year we look at how to further reduce our use of cardboard, plastics, and oil. We already have several premises fitted with solar panels. In 2022, we hope to be able to fit 30 additional stores with solar panels. We also employ technology to reduce water consumption. As part of our corporate social responsibility, we submit an annual report showing our commitment. We have interesting software that measures the consumption of gas, water, and electricity. Today, technology allows us to see online how much we are spending on electricity, by store or by region. We are looking at how to technologize Alsea on all fronts.
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