CEO Spotlight

CEO Spotlight: Simona Mancinelli, Managing Director of Premier Capital Hellas (Developmental Licencee for McDonald’s in Greece)

Simona Mancinelli, Managing Director of Premier Capital Hellas
Simona Mancinelli, Managing Director of Premier Capital Hellas

Premier Capital Hellas remains committed to its strategy and continues to invest in the Greek market despite the difficult times we are experiencing due to the financial and social impact of the pandemic. Simona Mancinelli, Managing Director of Premier Capital Hellas is a leader, trying to overcome all the difficulties and create a unique environment for the further development of the company. She strongly believes that when people and businesses incorporate and stay true to their values, they can overcome all situations. 

Q: How would you describe 2021 for Premier Capital Hellas? Which goals were achieved and which plans were possibly postponed?

Simona Mancinelli: As challenging 2021 has appeared to be, from the Covid-19 pandemic, the severity of the impact seems to be lower than that of 2020.  Containment measures do remain in place but there is significant progress in the vaccination program and also the summer season proved to have performed well in terms of tourism. Premier Capital Hellas remains committed to its strategy and continues to invest in the Greek market and stays close to the community. Especially focusing on safety and convenience through McDrive & McDelivery services.

A strong norm, is for our customers to feel and actually be safe in a clean, well-cared environment. Thus, maintaining the safety for our people and customers was always a first priority for us. This past year we have focused on making this as clear as possible throughout our business. All of our restaurants are verified by Lloyds Register’s Hospitality Stay Safe Scheme to ensure the high levels of safety, cleanliness and hygiene and to build confidence amongst our staff and customers. Also, our restaurants operate according to the measures and protocols issued by the health authorities. 

McDonald’s is defined as a brand by our people, and the people we serve, can trust. People are our first priority; being part of a community means to care and to give back. We work closely with our communities with social and educational programs, charity to people in need, integrating actions for minorities, volunteering to social actions and food donations. The period during lockdown changed the way customers seek their meal. Convenience is the main trend for food retail, and the reason why the delivery market continues on increasing rapidly. McDonald’s has always been synonymous with convenience & Value. Offering alternative ways to order delicious food and broadening customers’ accessibility to McDonald’s.

With McDrive and McDelivery we extend the McDonald’s experience to reach our customers at their convenience or their choice of location. McDonald’s Drive Thru is open 24/7, offering fast and friendly service, allowing customers to order and collect from their vehicle. Through digital innovation, we continue to interact with customers by offering convenience, rewards, value & fun to our customers. From a holistic perspective, “making delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone” is about McDonald’s positioning itself as a people business serving delicious food to people it has worked hard to understand. It is fair to say that our customers have shown that they appreciate the way the brand is evolving around them.

Q: How prepared was the company for a crucial period like the pandemic? How fast and how did it manage to adapt to the new circumstances?

Simona Mancinelli: Definitely, this crisis was something unforeseen. But I strongly believe that when people and businesses incorporate and stay true to their values, they can overcome all situations. Premier Capital and specifically our people, have proved to be able to adapt to all conditions and have managed to keep the business going. As challenging as 2020 turned out to be and as 2021 continues to be, it demonstrates unequivocally that the business is operationally resilient. We continue to serve our customers and live up to the brand’s legacy as a pioneer of convenience, operating through McDrive and McDelivery service channels that have proved to be extremely successful especially during the pandemic.

Our most productive investment is our people. Thanks to our exceptional team, we have managed to stay close to our customers and the community and serve with high values and safety and to prove the strength of our great brand! Our staff has come together with incredible determination to stay close to our communities when they needed us the most, serving our customers at home or on their way, with outstanding courage, patience and work ethic. 

As we are emerging from this unprecedented challenge, we can rely on our empowered, passionate people to run great, innovative restaurants. We are confident as we now possess the appropriate experience, knowledge and resources for business continuity and contingency planning as we live and work through this crisis. 

McDonald’s Greece

Q: Can you briefly present us the investments of the company during its ten years of presence in Greece? What to expect in the coming years?

Simona Mancinelli: We took over the Greek market in 2011 with a solid commitment to invest in the McDonald’s business. We were fully aware then of the economic challenges the market presents, and we see many opportunities to grow the business here in Greece and offer an enhanced experience to our customers through value and innovation.

Since 2011, we have invested more than €29 million in the Greek market, to develop new restaurants, renovate existing ones and upgrade infrastructure and technology across the local network. Moreover, we have employed and trained hundreds of people of whom we are so proud. During the last two years of the pandemic alone, we opened 3 new restaurants in Athens, a total investment of €4.85 million. Additionally we recently renovated our restaurant in Crete Heraklion featuring the latest service model, Experience of the Future. The investment directed to this restaurant is €650K.

Today we operate 26 McDonald’s restaurants in Greece: Alimos, Egaleo, Glyfada, Halandri, Ilion, Kifissias Ave, Kifissos Ave, Mesogion Ave, Metamorfosi, P.Faliro , Rentis ,Spata (Smart Park), Syntagma, Vari, Vrilissia ,31km Nat. Rd Athens-Lamia (Polydendri), Thessaloniki (One Salonica Outlet Mall & Kalamaria), Rhodes (Rhodes Town, Faliraki) in Crete (Malia, Hersonissos, Heraklion), Larissa, Zante & Santorini.

Premier Capital is wholeheartedly invested in the brand’s global mission to build a better McDonald’s. We keep investing in our restaurants and our people and we are confident this will result in sustained guest count and market share growth as we focus on delivering on McDonald’s promise to ‘make delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone’.

Q: Are there any difficulties in managing an American brand in European markets?

Simona Mancinelli: McDonald’s is a global brand but it also embraces locality and stays in sync with society, responding to local needs and integrating local culture. It is the world’s most welcoming and democratic brand.

McDonald’s brand mission “making delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone”, is the philosophy that underpins the superior overall experience we deliver to our customers every day and is right at the heart of our strategy. We are committed to serving all, including our most loyal guests and our casual visitor.

Our menu is also inclusive, you can find the all-time classics, long preferred and favorable items that form the authentic image of the brand, like the Big Mac, the Chicken McNuggets or the world-famous fries, loved the same around the globe. And also the local entries following local taste and preferences. In Greece during Easter we have the delicious lent menu McSarakosti, which is established as an annual food event for decades. We also launch local promotional campaigns, this year we are celebrating our 30th Anniversary of our Brand presence in Greece with three New Anniversary Burgers (Beef-Chicken-Vegetarian)

Q: You are a woman in a very demanding role. How do you manage to keep a work- personal life balance?

Simona Mancinelli: I love working at Premier Capital Hellas, and especially for the Brand McDonald’s.

Who doesn’t love McDonald’s? McDonald’s is the world’s most welcoming and democratic brand. As it operates around the world, inclusivity is in its core, regarding food, people, cultures, societies. 

The backbone of our Brand is, and always has been, a commitment to a set of core values that define who we are and how we run our business and restaurants. (Serve, Inclusion, Integrity, Community and Family).

McDonald’s is defined as a brand by our people, and that the people we serve, can trust.

As an employer, Premier Capital and McDonald’s share the same values. We are a non-boundaries brand; we don’t shout it but we live it. There are no boundaries in diversity and there are equal opportunities for all. Our family embraces people from all genders or colors, ages or social background. It’s worth saying that 45% of the head of departments are women, 13% come from a foreign country, 55% of our people are under 29 years old and they have great development opportunities as 40% of our head office positions are covered from people from the restaurants.

Thus I can say having the opportunity to work with Great People is my true motivation and inspiration!

I really enjoy living in Greece, I have lived here for 10 years now, I love the good weather, the fascinating cities filled with historic monuments and museums and especially the hospitable and friendly people. I try to keep a good balance between work and personal life, I’m quite athletic, I enjoy sports during my free time such as Boxing, and Tennis.

*Premier Capital Hellas is part of Premier Capital plc, the Developmental Licencee for McDonald’s in Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania, which operates 166 restaurants thanks to 9.000 people. More than 150 million customers are served every year across the six markets. Premier Capital is the McDonald’s business within Hili Ventures, a group present in 10 countries engaged in multi-sited activities with McDonald’s and Apple, logistics, marine & engineering, technology, property, oil & gas, hospitality and leasing.

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Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at maria-gourtsilidou@ceoworld.biz.