USA. The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) Board of Commissioners has awarded Fraport USA a ten-year contract to transform the concessions programme at Nashville International Airport. Crucially, said the board, Fraport will introduce a new business model “that allows Nashville restaurateurs and retailers to independently operate and fully control their restaurants and shops.” The previous concessions model did not allow for independent, local ownership of the concessions and retail shops, said the airport company in a statement.
“From listening to our passengers and the community at large, it became clear that the time had come to reimagine BNA’s concessions programme,” said MNAA Board of Commissioners Chair Dr. Dexter Samuels. “After a careful and comprehensive planning, research and competitive bid process, Fraport was awarded the concessions contract and will implement a programme that brings local restaurant owners and retailers to the airport that will truly transform our passengers’ experience. Nashville will soon be home to some of the well-known names that put Nashville’s culinary scene on the map, as well as smaller, more diverse restaurants and shops that make Nashville distinctive.”
The concessions contract includes the design, construction, lease and management of around 69,000sq ft of concessions space. Fraport will lease space to local business owners who will independently manage their restaurants and shops, as noted above.
“We want Nashville Airport to reflect our great city in every way possible, and we’re proud to say that this new concessions agreement will serve to create a more authentic Nashville experience at the airport,” said MNAA President and CEO Doug Kreulen. “The moment you arrive, we want it clear that this is Music City, with the sights, sounds and tastes the Nashville brand implies. This new model will amplify the experience for travellers, while also providing new opportunities for chefs, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs of all kinds.”
In a change from the current practice, the new concessions model will also feature “street pricing,” meaning airport concessions will be priced at a level equivalent to what a consumer would find for the item at a similar location outside the airport.
The new programme is also designed to increase opportunities for disadvantaged businesses. MNAA has set a goal for 22.6% involvement of Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE), but the new concessions agreement will ultimately produce ACDBE participation of 40% over the life of the contract.
“We’re excited to begin working with the Airport Authority and look forward to creating a breakthrough program that elevates the customer experience at Nashville International Airport,” said Fraport President and CEO Ben Zandi. “This is Music City, and we have set our sights high in terms of bringing that star quality to the travel experience. We aim to set a new standard for passenger satisfaction.”
Leasing and construction will begin 1 February 2019, with new restaurants and retail shops opening later next year.
Fraport USA (formerly Airmall) was a pioneer in introducing branded retail programmes and street pricing at its US airport concessions.
Nashville Airport is served by 15 airlines and offers 460 daily flights. The airport provides nonstop service to more than 65 destinations. In 2016 Nashville Airport announced a US$1 billion expansion programme, with new concessions planned.
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