Discover the BeeBonds Podcast, the podcast of the BeeBonds crowdlending platform, which introduces you to the person, the team, the story and the project behind each fundraising.
In this first episode, we invite you to meet Marco Tessaro, founder of AlphaSeed.
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BeeBonds Podcast: Marco Tessaro, finance for good food
In this episode, we introduce you to Marco Tessaro, founder of AlphaSeed. Marco is a financier turned entrepreneur at the service of good food.
A graduate of Solvay, Marco began his career in a 'big four' company, before joining a Swedish industrial company.
Marco Tessaro took his first steps in the food business after being recruited by an investment fund to develop the Burger King master franchise in Italy and Poland.
To hear Marco tell us about his journey from his beginnings to the launch of AlphaSeed and a concept like Pitaya :
From Burger King to AlphaSeed, a financing platform for the best fast casual concepts
"I've always been interested in numbers, processes and IT systems. I have a bit of a geek side that has never left me. That's the red thread linked to finance, but the real process I've gone through in my career is that I've gone from from the corporate world to the world of entrepreneurship in the food sector."
For Marco, food is a sector in the midst of a revolution that needs a serious shake-up in terms of digitalisation. He remembers his early days at Burger King:
"The real challenge is always the same: scale-up To be able to put in place the people, tools and processes to manage quantity. Because when you open 30 restaurants a year in a given country, you really have to manage quantity. It's all a jigsaw puzzle that has to be put together very carefully.
With Burger King, Marco Tessaro became aware of the scale of the revolution in the sector. It wasn't long before he crossed paths with two key people for AlphaSeed: Patrick Kuborn and Jacques Hansen (both holders of the Pain Quotidien licence in Brazil and Colombia).
It didn't take long for the magic to happen between the three men: they knew the food sector inside out, worked in it on a daily basis and shared the same vision.
Their shared ambition: developing fast casual chains, a major trend in the market.
Together they launched AlphaSeed, a financing platform specialising in the quality" fast foodlike Exki or Pain Quotidien.
"Fast casual is somewhere between fast food and classic table service. It's similar to fast food in terms of the process: the customer comes in, orders and pays, before eating. They pick up their order or their meal is delivered. This is the fastest-growing segment of the market, with growth rates of 8 to 10%. Generally speaking, the size of the cake is increasing every year in all countries, in developed countries and even in the Third World. People are eating out more and more. That's what we call "out of home", and it's growing by 2 to 3% a year.
To hear the story of AlphaSeed and discover its values and raison d'être :
Fresh, show and digital: Pitaya's recipe for success
Today, AlphaSeed is to launch its first master franchise project, Pitaya, a chain of quality fast-food street Thai restaurants.
The aim is to open 70 restaurants in the Benelux countries within the next seven years:
- 30 in Belgium ;
- 35 in the Netherlands; and
- 5 in Luxembourg.
After a successful opening in plein Covid in the heart of the city of Liège and a first restaurant located in Brussels that is a hit, it's hard to doubt the success of the woks offered by Pitaya.
For Marco Tessaro, Pitaya is an obvious concept on which to build:
"Pitaya is a concept that appeals to a large number of people in France and is doing very, very well. Franchisees queue up to open Pitaya stores in France because it's a relatively mainstream type of cuisine and it works.
It's a new niche, in fact, typically in a medium-sized town, Angers or Chartres, where there's the local pizza place, the local Burger King and sushi, a Thai Street Food like Pitaya adds a new offering and it's an instant success."
The entrepreneur reminds us that in the middle of Covid, Pitaya is a concept that works extremely well in delivery and take-away.
Already, on the French network, sales are 50% for eating in, but 25% for takeaway and 25% deliveries with aggregators UberEats and Deliveroo.
Listen to Marco Tessaro tell us the inspiring story of Pitaya :
Would you like to support Pitaya's Benelux expansion project?
Discover the Pitaya campaign on BeeBonds which offers a return of 8% gross annual interest.