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Dubai’s new food court of the future, Australia’s first working brewery inside an airport and Irish food and drink taking centre stage at Dublin Airport are on the menu in our global retail/F&B round-up.

HMSHost International claims to have opened the food court of the future with the unveiling of its 170sqm Food Village at Dubai International Airport (DXB).

According to HMSHost, DXB’s Food Village has combined the best of design, brands and engagement to create a “truly future-focused food court experience for passengers”.

It adds: “From an eclectic dining setting reminiscent of a Middle Eastern sense of place, and intelligent lighting design to direct passenger flow, through to live cooking elements and the first truly mobile food cart, Food Village can take passengers around the world in ten plates.”

Combining franchise brands with home grown heroes, HMSHost believes that the new concept is an expression of its ability to select the best performers from across the globe and bring them together in a cohesive setting.

The new location at DXB’s Concourse C (Terminal 3) features strong international brands like KFC, McDonalds and American Chinese Restaurant, Panda, along with a host of other concepts designed to appeal to both local and international travellers. Eugene Barry, Dubai Airports’ executive vice president, commercial, commented: “We have enjoyed a successful partnership with HMSHost for a number of years, and our partnership has evolved as customer expectations and travel behaviour has developed.

“The addition of these 14 new food concepts supports our strategy to not only be the world’s busiest international airport, but also the world’s best for customer experience.”



New brewery and beer hall opens at Melbourne Airport

Stomping Ground Brewing Co has opened a new brewery and beer hall at Melbourne Airport – the first working brewery inside an airport in Australia, and only the fourth in the world.

Located in Terminal 3 at Melbourne Airport where Delaware North has operated food and beverage services since 1990, Stomping Ground will have 30 taps pouring a wide range of beers brewed on site and at the company’s main brewery in Collingwood.

Each year up to 30 different beers will be brewed on-site, so frequent travellers can experience new flavours every time they travel.

“Delaware North is thrilled to be partnering with Stomping Ground Brewing Co on their exciting new brewery and beer hall in Melbourne Airport,” said Gary Brown, Delaware North’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

“This fantastic concept further enhances the excellent range of authentically-Melbourne dining and drinking options already available to passengers at Melbourne Airport, and provides travellers with a unique taste of the city’s outstanding food and craft beer scene.”

Stomping Ground joins a number of other Delaware North-operated concepts, including Pickett’s Deli from celebrated Melbourne restaurateur Scott Pickett, as well as EARL Canteen, Cobb Lane and Proud Mary.

“We’re incredibly excited to be representing Melbourne’s thriving independent brewing scene, and joining some of the city’s best food and drink operators at our own airport,” enthuses Stomping Ground co-founder Justin Joiner. “We’ll be tapping new beers most weeks, so there could well be a new beer added between when you depart and arrive home.”


Irish F&B brands to take centre stage at Dublin Airport

Irish food and drink brands will be showcased at Dublin Airport under a new 10-year contract that the airport has signed with international food operator SSP.

SSP will operate 24 separate F&B outlets at the airport and will work with Irish brands such as Bretzel Bakery, Camile Thai, Cloud Picker Coffee, Handsome Burger, Offbeat Donuts and 3fe coffee.

Sustainability will be a key feature of SSP’s new contract at Dublin Airport, with a focus on a removal of single-use plastic at its outlets. Local and certified ingredients will also be used in the dishes served at the new units.

“Ireland has a thriving food and drink scene and with this new partnership with SSP, Dublin Airport will be able to offer some really exciting Irish concepts to the travelling public,” said Dublin Airport’s managing director, Vincent Harrison.

“Almost 100,000 passengers use Dublin Airport every day and we want to ensure that our customers have a quality dining experience, with a sense of connectedness to Ireland using fresh and local quality produce.”

Under the new agreement, SSP will open 24 units at the airport in both landside and airside locations. It took over the operations of existing suppliers in February and will rebrand them over time to incorporate a mix of Irish and international brands, and new concepts.

SSP has also created several specific concepts tailored to Dublin Airport, some of which will reflect the passenger mix at each terminal. At Terminal 2, for example SSP will open several outlets that will celebrate the close links between Ireland and North America to appeal to transatlantic passengers.

It has, for instance, partnered with Teeling Whiskey to create Whiskey Bread, a new all-day Irish bar and kitchen which will pay homage to the culinary history between America and Ireland dating back to the 1600s.

The new outlets will incorporate the latest technology, including mobile ‘order at table’ services to provide a smoother and quicker customer experience.

SSP already employs 300 people at Dublin Airport and the new contract means that about 200 existing staff will transfer to the company.

Richard Lewis, CEO of SSP UK & Ireland, noted: “We are confident that our bespoke line-up will meet the diverse needs of all our customers, providing a true Irish experience to the international traveller as well as those looking to enjoy a real taste of home.”



A big Texas welcome for new F&B outlets

Vino Volo and Paradies Lagardère recently celebrated the grand opening of two new Texas-themed wine bars, Vino Volo High Plains and Vino Volo Hill Country, as well as a handful of new retail and dining concepts at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The Vino Volo Hill Country concept was inspired by a variety of Texas wineries including Pedernales Cellars, Duchman Winery and William Chris Vineyards, and the geography of Fredericksburg Texas – home of Hill Country.

Travellers are greeted by an extensive wine selection that guests can purchase by the glass, flight or bottle to take with them. The restaurant can also ship bottles for customers.

“Vino Volo has been a long-term partner with Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and we’re excited to showcase local Texas wines at our new locations,” says senior vice president, Mark Sill.

“Travellers at AUS will find a variety of superior quality wines, local blends made right here in Texas, and wine flights and retail bottles for sale, as we’re the only airport wine bar to offer this. We offer unique experiences that allow guests to taste, learn and enjoy.”

While Paradies Lagardère president and CEO, Gregg Paradies, enthuses: “We are thrilled when these packages were awarded to us, and we’ve been happy with the end results and think our customers are too!

“We’ve introduced powerhouse brands and locally-influenced concepts that enhance the customer and traveller experience at the airport and has made the airport a destination in itself.”


OTG and Starbucks announce new partnership

OTG and Starbucks have announced a new partnership with a focus on “new experiential concepts and innovative technology” to better serve travellers at airports across the US.

OTG is known for its innovative, often IT embracing approach to dining and retail in airports that include Newark-Liberty, LaGuardia, New York JFK, Philadelphia and George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

In addition to being one of the most familiar brands in the world, coffee giant Starbucks is also known for its signature customer experience.

As a direct result of the new tie-up, OTG and Starbucks say that they will “introduce a variety of traditional and experiential locations, while exploring new technology to better serve customers anywhere in the terminal”.

Locations, they note, will be thoughtfully placed and move throughout the airport depending on time of day, providing travellers with a “Starbucks experience” at their gate upon departure or arrival.

OTG CEO, Rick Blatstein, says: “Our mission is simple: deliver our guests what they want in the most efficient, frictionless way possible. This collaboration will allow us to introduce a fully re-imagined Starbucks customer experience, ensuring guests access to their preferred cup anywhere in the airport.”


Bigger and better

The F&B offerings at Mactan Cebu International Airport in the Philippines just got a little bigger and better with the opening of eight new outlets.

Among the new facilities is a food court called Food Avenue, which boasts 426 square metres of space and includes five bespoke food and beverage brands – The Bakery, Filipino Delights, Taipei Tea, Lolo Pinoy Lechon de Cebu and Nippon Ramen.

F&B master concessionaire, SSP Asia-Pacific, announced plans to open 27 new F&B outlets at the airport upon winning the contract in 2018. The new additions means that it has now opened 15 new facilities.

Mark Angela, CEO of SSP Asia-Pacific, said: “Our first units opened in Cebu have traded well since launch and continue to perform above expectations. The quality of the offer has also been recognised, with our Cabin Bar at Cebu being named Airport Bar of the Year for Asia-Pacific at the 2019 FAB Awards.

“Our latest F&B outlets offer something for everyone, with popular regional dishes that are close to the heart of local travellers and top global brands that are instantly recognisable among international passengers. We’re now looking forward to working on the next step of our F&B development, which will give customers even greater choice at the airport.”

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