SPAIN. Oscar Vela, CEO of travel restaurateur and retailer Areas, has been named ‘CEO of the year’ by the Marcas de Restauración association. The award was made during the HIP Hotel and Restaurant Professional Congress, staged at IFEMA in Madrid.

The association has recognised Vela for leading major changes at the company throughout his career, which began in 2009 as General Manager for Spain and Portugal, and later as the first Areas manager in Latin America.

Team player: Oscar Vela dedicated the award to his 20,000+ Areas colleagues

Vela has held the position of Global CEO of Areas since 2018. During this period, Areas’s leading executive has contributed to the growth and expansion of the company internationally, and to consolidating its position as a leading operator in Spain, Portugal and France.

The association also took into account Areas’s successful diversification strategy, both geographically and within the company’s key markets. Some recent highlights were winning major food & beverage contracts the West Virginia highway (USA) and on home territory at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, and the acquisition of Sighor’s motorway F&B business in France.

Oscar Vela recently led the Areas business to secure a key contract at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport

Vela said: “It is an honour and a privilege to receive this award because it is the reflection of the collective effort, of an entire company aligned with the same objectives and working to offer excellent service to travellers.”

He added: “They give the award to me, but it actually should be given to each of the 20,000 employees that we have in the ten countries in which we operate, for their effort, commitment and daily passion.”

Areas now manages more than 2,000 restaurants and stores across Europe and America. ✈

The Moodie Davitt Report President Dermot Davitt recently visited Areas in Barcelona to attend the Areas Worldwide Challenge ceremony. Access the article here.

Note: The Moodie Davitt Report publishes the FAB Newsletter, which features highlights of openings, events and campaigns from around the world of airport and travel dining. Please email to subscribe.

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