Stefan Höllen

Stefan Höllen

L'Osteria VP Supply Chain

L’Osteria
Stefan Höllen, L'Osteria VP Supply Chain, on why food and people are such passions in his daily life

Introduce yourself and your role

My name is Stefan Höllen and I have been Vice President Supply Chain at L’Osteria since 2017. I have over 20 years of experience in the industry. In 2002, I started working for HAVI Logistics, the supply chain integrator for McDonald’s in many countries. 

I left HAVI in 2008 to start as a Director of Purchasing for Vapiano, which at that time was also a customer of HAVI Logistics. There, I set up the entire supply chain. When I first joined, Vapiano operated 16 restaurants. By the time I left, there were 200 restaurants across 30 countries.

After ten years at Vapiano, I joined L'Osteria as Director of Supply Chain. I started when the company was operating 80 restaurants, but now we have doubled this volume to 163 restaurants in eight countries. 

How did you find yourself in hospitality?

I have always worked in purchasing.

Then I studied economics, and took over responsibility for purchasing departments. After a few years I needed a change and that was when I started working for HAVI.

What is your favourite thing about the industry?

It's varied, and I like to work with people. I'm not a controller. For me, it’s all about the people I work with. It’s very important we have long-term relations with our partners. Even if we put them under pressure with tenders and so on, it's important to be fair, transparent and reliable also.

We don't even have contracts with some partners, it's just a handshake. Of course with some larger companies, it's necessary. 

Also working with food is really interesting. It’s better tasting a tiramisu than handling screws. Part of the job is developing products with the development department. It's very important that Purchasing is included from the outset with a potential new partner or product.

What inspires you? 

The food, in general, is inspiring. In the past years the development of vegan and vegetarian products has been very fast, which is very interesting.

It’s important at L'Osteria that we don't want to follow a trend, yet we also want to be part of any trend. 

Our main focus is not vegan or vegetarian but this needs to become a part of things. Plus it's fun working in the product development area with suppliers of the industry, developing something completely new.

What is your proudest achievement?

What we did when I started here at L'Osteria, at the end of 2017. We reduced the cost of our food by nearly 4% points of food-cost in just over two years. That was before Covid and the Ukraine war. Then things changed, but that was a big achievement.

We don't even have contracts with some partners; it's just a handshake. Of course with some larger companies, it's necessary. 

Also working with food is really interesting. It’s better tasting a tiramisu than handling screws. Part of the job is developing products with the development department. It's very important that Purchasing is included from the outset with a potential new partner or product. 


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