The Houston Airport System’s concession program continues to earn accolades across the industry, the latest this week when Airports Council International-North America honored its efforts in four categories on June 14, at the 2018 ACI-NA Airport Concessions Awards in Portland.
Concessions dining offerings at George Bush Intercontinental Airport earned first place in two categories — sharing “Best New National Brand Concept” for the Hard Rock Café operated by SSP in Terminal B, and winning outright “Best Food & Beverage Program” in the Large Airport division for the expanded Terminal A programming — and earned second place for “Best Retail Program” in the Large Airport division for the shops available in Terminal A.
William P. Hobby Airport earned a second place as well, in the “Best Food & Beverage Program” in the Medium Airport division.
“It is fantastic that the efforts at both airports are recognized, because we know the thoughtful planning and hard work necessary to ensure what we offer more than meets the needs of our customers — it exceeds them,” said Randy Goodman, the Director of Concessions for the Houston Airport System. “For the airport and concessionaires, our innovative program provides more opportunities for more concessionaires and ‘win-win’ business terms providing attractive returns on investment for concessionaires and market rent for the airport.”
Opening in July 2017, the Hard Rock location at Bush Airport became the second in an airport in North America. One of the most globally recognized brands, Hard Rock envelops customers with an eclectic ambiance, beginning with items from one of the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, and also is known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise.
For “Best Food & Beverage Program” Bush Airport was honored for an approach that presented local brands like The Breakfast Klub and Cadillac Bar, which serve Texas-style cuisine. As well, regional and national brands — Starbucks, Wendy's and the ever-popular Chick-fil-A — expanded customer options, and Bush Airport was chosen to have the first airport location for Blaze Pizza. The mixture of concepts gives Terminal A a sense of place and represents the diverse and welcoming Houston culture. As a result, gross sales for food and beverage in Terminal A increased 29 percent.
In the “Best Retail Program” category, retail programs throughout Bush Airport offer local, regional and national brands, delivering excellence shopping options while maintaining “opening day fresh" quality every day, as well as excellent customer service while meeting the passengers’ retail needs. Brookstone, Dylan's Candy Bar, City Point, Duty Free, Houston!, and XpresSpa offer a mix of brand concepts while maintaining luggage accessible aisles, sleek store designs and sense of place.
Hobby Airport’s food and beverage program offers a mix of national, regional and local concepts that create a sense of place and atmosphere that reflects the Texas diverse culture. Locations like Chick-Fil-A, Pappasito’s Cantina and Yia Mary’s — the only Greek quick-serve restaurant in a Texas airport — give customers efficient, customer-service driven choices and helped generate a 10.3 percent increase in sales.
The awards were announced during a gala dinner in Portland. More than 600 commercial management, business diversity, human resource, and finance representatives from the North American airport industry attended the conference. This year’s contest received more than 140 nominations from airports of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. Learn more about the category winners at this link.
In 2017, the HAS concessions program also earned several awards, and Goodman was named the 2017 ACI-NA Concessions Director of the Year. The new World-Duty Free shop at Hobby Airport earned first place in the “Best New Duty-Free Concept” category. The new MAC shop at Hobby Airport earned second place in the “Best New Retail Concept” category, and Texas Monthly News at Bush Airport earned second place in the “Best New News & Gift Concept” category. Shady Lane Marketplace, operated by Paradies Lagardère at Hobby Airport, earned third place in the “Best New News & Gift Concept” category.