The Italian restaurant chain Autogrill employs 1,350 people in our country. Supported by the Protime tools, three payroll managers steer the personnel management in the right direction every day.

Market leader chooses for innovation

Autogrill restaurants can be found along motorways, in train stations, airports and in certain cities. The market leader in food & beverage services for travellers is present in 31 countries. 70,000 employees are responsible for the 4,000 sales points. In Belgium, the Group has 1,350 employees spread over 60 branches. About eighty percent of them are registered as workers. The Belgian head office is located in Antwerp and has about 40 employees. 

The Italian company swears by clear values that are propagated worldwide. We strive for enthusiasm and passion for the work and for the quality of our products,' says Marleen Jacobs, human resources & quality manager at Autogrill Belgium. Teamwork, involvement, openness and dialogue are also important. In addition, reliability and simplicity are crucial points of attention. All these values together form the rules of the game that we apply to our daily activities. 

These values help us to maintain our position as global market leader. Autogrill has its own brands, but is also an operator of many external brands. The fact that we manage to make these work on a large scale makes us unique. For example, we have been a major partner of Starbucks for more than 20 years, and in 2012 the partnership was extended to Belgium.

Headquarters as a support

Hierarchy is not so important within Autogrill. You do need a manager in each branch, but this should not get in the way of interaction with other levels,' explains Marleen Jacobs. We therefore aspire to a flat corporate structure. Our CEO talks to everyone. It is the task and responsibility of the store managers to keep everything running in their branch. The head office has a supporting rather than a directing role.  

Marleen started her own career at Autogrill more than 25 years ago. 'My career illustrates the wide range of opportunities the company offers,' she says. 'For example, I also supervised the operations of Starbucks. At the time I thought I was going to do something with coffee, but nothing could be further from the truth, it's all about the employees not the product. Nothing is forever here, both in our branches and at head office you get plenty of opportunities to take a different path, for example I'm now working as an HR & Quality Manager.

With the right attitude and work ethic, a lot is possible. Moreover, we help our employees to detect their talents and provide training to develop them further. After all, the war for talent is making itself felt. Attracting good employees and offering sufficient promotion opportunities is therefore an important task of the HR team. The outlines for this are set out from Milan at European level, but we enjoy sufficient freedom of decision.

Marleen Jacobs
"We are aiming for a healthy work-life balance and maximum flexibility for our employees"
Marleen Jacobs
HR & Quality Manager

Putting people first

Autogrill opted for the Protime solutions for personnel administration and time registration back in 2012. Three people managing the payroll of 1,350 people: that requires a lot of organisation. But thanks to Protime, we manage that very well.  

Protime also regularly adds new innovations to its products. For example, we recently introduced the myProtime platform for the head office. Everyone at the head office can request their absences via this platform. Their managers can then approve them immediately.

A working day of Marleen as human resources manager is very varied. But she is also responsible for quality and transformation within the company. I am involved in all kinds of processes she says and thanks to Protime, this all runs smoothly.