Founded in 1982, Inmaculada Guadalupe y Amigos en Cia S.A. (Inmaculada) runs Andres Carne de Res, the leading theme restaurant in Colombia and one of Bogotá’s popular attractions. Beginning as a restaurant that served only five tables, Inmaculada has grown considerably as a restaurant and a popular event location. The unique facility, entertainment concept, and commitment to great food and excellent service have gained an iconic status among Colombians and tourists to the capital city.
When the company approached SEAF, Inmaculada needed financing to expand operations at its existing site in order to meet surplus demand. The company also needed funds to develop its popular business format at additional sites in and around Colombia and to continue diversifying its retail line, advertising, and brand extension.
Through its Fondo Transandino Colombia (FTC), SEAF invested in Inmacualda in July 2008 and again in November 2009. 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.
With SEAF’s partnership, Inmaculada transitioned from a family owned business to a professionally managed organization with increases in productivity and improvements in its credibility to external investors. 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 with less expensive prices.
Following SEAF’s investment, Inmaculada’s workforce increased from 735 employees at the time of investment to 2,280 at the end of 2013. Over the same time period, the company’s annual number of customers served increased dramatically from 600,000 customers to 2.2 million customers.
In addition to its positive 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.