The Indianapolis Airport Authority Board voted to approve six new food and beverage contracts for Indianapolis International Airport (IND), with winning bids coming from SSP America, HMSHost and OHM Group. The awards are part of the concessions refresh initiative that launched in 2016 to address the pending expiration of 43 existing retailer, services, and food and beverage contracts.
As in many airports, local was a key focus. The airport notes that the contracts “reflect the changes in culture and community of Indianapolis and the state. Since the Indy airport opened its new terminal doors 10 years ago, local culinary has been nationally recognized and the new vendors are a strong representation of the award-winning Indy food and beverage scene.”
“Today is yet another culmination of our discussions over the past three years with diverse business vendors, which has resulted in a good mix of locally owned and local products to provide a customer experience that reflects the taste and culture of Indianapolis,” says Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez.
The six contracts will bring 19 distinct locations of new or expanded food and beverage concepts to the Indy airport, representing a 50 percent increase in local brand representation, a 100 percent increase in food and beverage concepts that represent the Indianapolis culture, and a 300 percent increase in diverse business participation, the airport says.
“The Concessions Refresh initiative, in total, will include a three-year phased construction plan ensuring airport passengers and guests have access to the products and services they need while traveling,” says Marsha Stone, IAA senior director of commercial enterprise. The airport noted that balancing pre- and post-security food and beverage options was a priority during this round of contracts.
SSP America will open Bub’s Burgers, HotBox Pizza, The Farmer’s Market, Sun King Brewery and Bento Sushi and expand the iconic Harry and Izzy’s dining location, which will offer locally sourced products, such as Indiana Pacers Courtside Club and Circle City Beer Garden. The Farmers’ Market, created in partnership with Indiana Grown (the local food-branding initiative for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture), will provide passengers local farm-to-table options.
“Ours is a strong portfolio of local hometown hero brands and a national brand anchored by a market that showcases the best of the Indiana farm region and an expansion of one of the best restaurants in the country, Harry & Izzy’s,” says Bob Stanton, vice president of business development for SSP America.
HMSHost will operate Ben’s Soft Pretzel’s, Indiana Pacers Courtside Club, Circle City Beer Garden, Shake Shack, adjust multiple Starbucks locations and add a combination Starbucks/Circle City News.
“We are truly excited to create a reflection of Indianapolis in the airport through authentic dining experiences,” says Steve Johnson, president and CEO of HMSHost. “HMSHost thanks the Indianapolis Airport Authority and is proud to have this opportunity to serve its travelers with some of the most innovative and popular local and national brands that people love, including Indianapolis’ first Shake Shack restaurant.”
OHM Group will open the Social Cantina, Tinker Coffee and the Stacked Pickle, all local concepts.
IND said additional concessions contract approvals are anticipated later this year.