USA. The Wayne County Airport Authority has approved eight new food & beverage concessions covering 25 units at Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s McNamara Terminal. The move marks the latest phase in a major redevelopment of the concession programme at the location.

The new programme will add around 22,000sq ft of additional space to the McNamara Terminal F&B offer. During the first full year of the programme, sales are anticipated to be US$63 million, an increase of more than +47.5% above the current programme, and revenue to the Authority is projected to be over US$10 million, an increase of US$3.7 million.

Successful proposers for these food & beverage opportunities include locally-based Midfield Concessions Enterprises (MCE-DTW, JV), Atlanta-based Hojeij Brand Foods (HBFAPU JV), McDonald’s USA and Miami-based Areas USA (Areas McNamara JV).

Featured concepts will include national brands such as P.F. Chang’s, Chick-fil-A, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bruegger’s Bagels, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Pinkberry and illy espressamente, among others.

The programme also introduces many local culinary names such as Andiamo, the terminal’s first upscale Italian restaurant, Plum Market with Zingerman’s Deli, Corridor Sausage Company, Grobbel’s Gourmet Deli, Crave Robata Grill and Bar, Papa Joe’s Gourmet Market, Mezza Mediterranean Grille, Palazzolo’s Artisan Gelato and Sorbetto and a gate holdroom dining experience themed on Detroit’s historic Eastern Market.

“This new McNamara Terminal food & beverage programme will elevate our passengers’ travel experience to new levels,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Tom Naughton. “Combining a great mix of well-recognised, national and international brands with the quality, freshness and local flavour of many of Detroit’s finest and most successful restaurant/food concepts. We think our customers will really enjoy and appreciate the new unique dining experience these venues will create.”

The new F&B programme will take shape over the next 18 months

The new concepts will incorporate iPads and tablet self-ordering stations, mobile point of sale devices, social media and web-based platforms and a virtual concierge.

In addition to tendering concessions that begin to expire later this year, the airport incorporated new, previously undeveloped spaces into the list of opportunities. A vacant former Northwest Airlines WorldClub on Concourse B and parts of several gate area holdrooms were made available for concessionaires.

“The combination of great concepts and design, high-quality chef-inspired menu options, convenient gate-area dining, and new technology and service enhancements, will make our programme truly unique,” said Wayne County Airport Authority Senior Vice President of Facilities & Development Marcus Kemper. “Since the airport authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive local tax dollars to support our operations, the enhanced non-airline-based revenue these new concessions will generate are vital, and help ensure we maintain a competitive cost structure which encourages new air service development.”

The airport began the planning process for the new food & beverage programme more than a year ago. It issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) in September 2013 for the new restaurant opportunities. Some 45 proposals from 19 different companies, representing more than 108 concepts, were received last December.

“We had an outstanding response from many companies interested in our programme,” said Wayne County Airport Authority Director of Concessions Greg Hatcher. “Our current concession programme and operators have been well-recognised since we opened the McNamara Terminal more than 12 years ago, and they do a fantastic job; but in order to continue to compete and stay fresh, we need to be willing to change and adapt with the times. Combined with the recent improvements to our retail programme, I’m confident these new venues will help our airport remain on the leading edge in the industry for unique passenger services and amenity offerings.”

Design and construction of the new concession spaces will commence shortly, and is anticipated to be complete by autumn 2015.