US. Airport hospitality group OTG and coffee company Starbucks today announced a new partnership, which they said would lead to “a re-imagined customer experience”. The alliance will focus on new experiential concepts and innovative technology to better serve travellers at airports across the US, the partners said.

As reported, a long-standing US airport exclusivity between Starbucks and airport F&B giant HMHost has come to an end (you can read the HMSHost perspective on that development here and the Starbucks view here). As a result, HMSHost is striking new coffee brand partnerships after the ending of the Starbucks deal, which has run since 1991.

So too is Starbucks. OTG is known for its innovative approach to dining and retail in numerous North American airports including Newark, LaGuardia, New York JFK, Philadelphia International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental and Toronto Pearson International (Canada).

OTG CEO Rick Blatstein: “This collaboration will allow us to introduce a fully re-imagined Starbucks customer experience, ensuring guests access to their preferred cup anywhere in the airport”

Starbucks is a global leader in airport food & beverage as well as downtown coffee outlets. The company operates over 30,000 locations worldwide and is known for its high-quality craft coffee beverages and signature customer experience.

OTG and Starbucks pledged to introduce a variety of traditional and experiential locations, while exploring new technology to better serve customers anywhere in an airport terminal.

“Locations will be thoughtfully placed and move throughout the airport depending on time of day, providing travellers a Starbucks experience at their gate upon departure or arrival,” the companies said in a joint statement.

“With a shared emphasis on providing a quality customer experience, this new partnership with OTG looks to usher in a new dynamic approach to how travellers get their Starbucks in the airport environment.”

“OTG is thrilled to be forging this new and exciting partnership with Starbucks. Our mission is simple – deliver our guests what they want in the most efficient, frictionless way possible,” said OTG CEO Rick Blatstein. “This collaboration will allow us to introduce a fully re-imagined Starbucks customer experience, ensuring guests access to their preferred cup anywhere in the airport.”

OTG CEO Rick Blatstein on stage at the 2019 Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference in Dallas with FAB and Moodie Davitt Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie

Starbucks Senior National Account Executive – Travel Henry Klein: The new alliance will generate new store concepts and digital capabilities that meet our customers where they are in their particular travel journey

Starbucks Senior National Account Executive – Travel Henry Klein commented: “We know customers demand retailers innovate and work to meet their needs. Our partnership with OTG will allow us to expand our footprint and reach more customers across US airports.

“We will also bring new innovations to the market and elevate the overall Starbucks Experience for partners and customers. This includes new store concepts and digital capabilities that meet our customers where they are in their particular travel journey.”

OTG, founded in 1996, operates over 350 restaurants and retail concepts in ten airports across North America.

It was ranked among the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company magazine.