Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

New deals bringing added food choices to Detroit air travelers

We have good news for our readers who fly for business and/or pleasure through Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The choice of places to grab a bite to eat before a flight that may offer nothing more than a bag of pretzels will be improving significantly. Twenty-five new restaurants and other food and beverage vendors will be added to the concession area in McNamara Terminal.

The Wayne Airport Authority chose these businesses from some 45 proposals that were submitted by almost 20 companies. The new establishments will grow the concession section of the airport by approximately 22,000 square feet.

The new eateries will include nationwide names like P.F. Chang and Pinkberry. However, Detroiters will find a number of local favorites as well. These include some local favorites including Andiamo as well as Papa Joe's Gourmet Market.

The eight concession agreements approved by the airport authority, some of which are for groups of restaurants, are expected to cost over $31 million in capital. However, it is hoped that the added vendors will bring in sales of $63 million -- nearly a 50 percent increase from current concession sales. According to the "Detroit Free Press," the new businesses are expected to almost triple revenue for the airport authority from $3.7 million to approximately $10 million. The paper notes that construction of the new airport restaurants is anticipated to be finished by the fall of next year.

Restaurants and other purveyors of food and drink can broaden their customer base by locating in airports and thus serving people from all over the world, while giving locals one last sense of home before they take off for far-flung locations. There are no doubt both business and legal challenges to working within the parameters of an airport and in such close proximity to other establishments. However, these businesses no doubt have their legal teams reviewing the requirements of this new partnership with the airport authority.

Source: Crain's Detroit Business, "Local restaurants among 25 new dining options at Detroit Metropolitan Airport" Nathan Skid, Mar. 24, 2014

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