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carriers from terminal to terminal.
Planes move — restaurants do not!
Are airports demonstrating more
interest in pre-security concessions? If
so, what is the reason from your point
BANDUCCI: There is interest in pre-security dining in many international
terminals, and where family and
friends can meet travelers who are
deplaning. There is also demand
for pre-security options for airport
SAMUELS: Airports and individual airport terminals, such
as JFK Terminal 4, have reconfigured their concessions
wherever possible to move stores behind security. With
longer lines at security checkpoints, most travelers breeze
right past pre-security shops for fear of missing their flights.
Once past security, they can relax, find their gates and look
around for food and retail establishments to keep them
entertained until their flights are called.
The exception to that is food and beverage stands that
cater to “meeters and greeters” waiting outside security
for passengers to arrive.
SAVARIA: Not all airports are the same, but in general
terms it’s probably less at least as far as the departures
area is concerned. Travelers really only start to relax
once they are through the security checkpoint, and in
hub environments, connecting traffic rarely sees the
pre-security area. Many airports have been successful
at adapting the pre-security environment, including
the exterior of the terminal, to focus more on value-add
services like valet parking, car detailing while you’re
away, etc. In other airports, more than the pre-security
area it’s the arrivals area that has been the biggest
opportunity to capitalize on large meeter-greeter and
airport worker communities.
CUGASI: There is a stronger push in arrivals areas in
many airports as a result of the post-9/11 environment.
It is common that airports request ticketing area
concessions in response to employee needs but, in
general, this is not a trend.
CAPPETTA: Airports desperately need non-aeronautical
revenues to remain competitive on landing fees. As
a result, all spaces under airport control are being
considered, including pre-security space and property
adjacent to terminal buildings (gas stations and
convenience stores). It’s worth mentioning that pre-security spaces often have lower economic benefits than
post-security units. It’s important to operate a mix of both
pre- and post-security locations.
Are airports tending to require
more sustainable elements in
your buildout or operation?
BANDUCCI: We are seeing more
interest in sustainable elements.
HMSHost works closely
with airports on many such
initiatives, from food donation
programs and recycling, to local
food sourcing, composting,
utilization of LED lighting, and
the use of reclaimed materials
in restaurant construction
projects, among other initiatives.
SAMUELS: Building materials that are friendly to the
environment have been a big trend in airports in recent
years, and one that Hudson has pursued for many years.
Sustainability has certainly become a touch point at most
airports we deal with. Primary areas of sustainability are
LED lighting, eco-friendly paint, and many materials that
can be recycled, such as bamboo.
Another aspect of sustainability is the practice of
using high-quality materials that do not need to be
replaced as often, thus saving natural resources. Hudson
has always used top-quality materials in construction
of our stores. High-end countertops, tiled floors and
displays will stand up much better to the abuse they
receive in really busy stores.
SAVARIA: Yes, just like green and blue boxes are part
of our everyday life now, sustainable, responsible store
design/construction, as well as daily operations, are
expected in today’s airports, as they should be.
CUGASI: Absolutely, and we are thrilled to be active
partners in achieving more sustainability across all lines.
We look for new and innovative ways to use reclaimed
materials — wood, metals, fixtures, lighting, etc. —
and have done so in many recent efforts, including
the Long Beach Marche in Long Beach, Calif., and the
Sweet Auburn Market in the new international terminal
(Concourse F) at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International.
CAPPETTA: Absolutely. We are seeing a greater push for
sustainability, be it in the areas of energy-conserving kitchen
equipment, separation of organic and inorganic waste, local
supply chain purchases, use of recycled building materials,
etc. We at SSP embrace these goals and do our best to
conserve and preserve.
Do you have any predictions about the economic outlook
for airport concessions over the next several years?
BANDUCCI: There are always new opportunities for
airport concessions, as we continue to explore and
identify new ways to enhance the traveler’s experience
throughout their entire journey.