Through its Fondo Transandino Colombia (FTC), SEAF invested in Inmaculada Guadalupe y Amigos en Cia S.A. (Inmaculada) in July 2008. Inmaculada runs Andres Carne de Res, the leading theme restaurant in Colombia and one of Bogotá’s more visited attractions.
A Family-Owned Beginning
When the company approached SEAF, Immaculada required financing to expand operations at its existing site and to develop its popular business format at additional sites in and around Colombia. Through SEAF’s partnership, Inmaculada transitioned from a family owned business to a professionally managed and governed organization, increasing the company’s productivity and improving its credibility to external investors.
Expanding Throughout Bogotá
In September 2009, with SEAF’s support, Inmaculada successfully launched its second restaurant, Andres D.C., in downtown Bogotá. In comparison to Andres Chía, which is located outside the city and is only open on weekends, Andres D.C. allows Immaculada to cater to a more urban clientele and to meet demand from weekday customers. Additional financing from FTC in November 2009, helped Inmaculada develop a food court area within a prominent shopping center in Bogotá to cater to a more casual customer at less expensive prices. To manage the company’s growth, SEAF helped Inmaculada implement improved business practices that included operations and employee manuals and standardized rulebooks. In addition, a service scorecard with metrics was created and successfully implemented to ensure quality and consistency across the company’s growing number of locations. In the 18 months following SEAF’s first investment, Inmaculada’s workforce increased from 735 employees at the time of investment to 1,155 at the end of 2009. Over the same time period, the company’s annual number of customers served increased from 600,000 customers to 1.5 million.
Benefits to the Local Community
In addition to its positive social impact through growing employment opportunities, Inmaculada runs the Andres and Lucia Project in partnership with the Santa Lucia School. This project works with over 100 children from low-income homes, promoting expression through art for children who have been victims of abuse or suffer from self-esteem issues.