The young company provides its services in company restaurants and canteens, catering, wholesale, and commercial catering at its own sites – all throughout Italy. Though headquartered in the capital city, I.F.M. has most of its operational activity running from the city of Naples.
Founded only two decades ago by the highly enthusiastic and food-loving entrepreneur Francesco Romano, it has grown to become one of the leading providers of professional catering employing 700 people across the country. With a correspondingly high turnover, it is responsible for putting out an astonishing seven million meals annually to large businesses as well as universities, such as the campus of the University of Turin.
I.F.M.’s Italian authenticity alone, however, would not suffice locally, where competition would naturally be fiercest, so it has had to adapt with unique offerings and managerial style. “We owe our success to our quality, hygiene and owners’ presence in managing,” says Francesco Romano, CEO of the company.
Mr. Romano is responsible for the whole management at I.F.M. He established the company in the 1980s. Before its foundation he was active in the agricultural and food sectors, always with a liking for great cuisine. “We have 24/7 management and lean structures, organized from a central operative base, with unit managers always connected to the top management. This enables us to take decisions quickly,” Mr. Romano explains.
Solid management coupled with special dedication to the food products on offer provides I.F.M.’s winning formula. The company prepares specialized diets catered for healthy eating, often tackling health issues such as high cholesterol. I.F.M. also uses organic foods, sourced as locally as possible, and pays special attention to the way its products are warehoused.
“We have an ethical and social responsibility. Traceability is also important to us,” Mr. Romano adds. When it comes to its clients, preferences are prioritized: Meals can be prepared light, vegetarian or vegan. The meals are chosen by its clients and are prepared with respect for the local recipes and tastes of the area.
Such specialization and attention to quality, clients’ tastes and hygiene have not only positioned I.F.M. as a market leader locally, but the company is gearing up for planned expansion abroad with a focus on one of the largest economies. “Germans focus on good-quality food, so that is one market where we’d like to gain a foothold,” Mr. Romano says enthusiastically.