USA. The Port of Seattle has announced a range of new dining and retail concepts, following tenders at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Among the big winners were SSP America and Pacific Gateway Concessions. New brands will deliver a strong local flavour to the airport, said the Port of Seattle (full list of brands below).

The Port is conducting a long-term dining and retail redevelopment programme as leases for most units expire over several years. More opportunities will soon become available, including around 20 units a new leasing phase that goes to bid this summer. Currently, there are 86 dining and retail outlets at the airport. That number is expected to grow to more than 135 upon completion of the redevelopment.

“There was more competition and there were more local concepts submitted for these leases than we’ve ever received before,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Tom Albro. “We’re particularly pleased that so many local minority and small businesses see the benefit of opportunities at Sea-Tac Airport, will create new jobs, and help us share a Pacific Northwest sense of place with our passengers.”

All change at Sea-Tac: The dining and retail programme will soon feature over 135 outlets, from 86 today

Winning bidders were selected through an evaluation process that featured seven rating criteria including background/experience, concept, unit design, financial/rent proposal, management/staffing and operations, job quality/workforce development, and small business participation. The process included observation from external stakeholders and benefited from lessons learned from previous leasing efforts, said the Port.

The new concessions will deliver a strong Sense of the Pacific Northwest to travellers, says the Port of Seattle

The list of winning bids includes exciting current local businesses as well as new local concepts developed specifically for the airport. The list includes:

  1. Marche Food Hall – to be located in the large area at the elbow of Concourse A between gates A6 and A5, featuring a range of concepts (operated by SSP America)
    • Jujubeet – ‘Artisan juices’ from a brand with locations in Bellevue and Seattle;
    • Macrina Bakery – ‘Hand formed, freshly baked’ bakery goods; the brand has locations in Kent and Seattle;
    • Salt & Straw – A ice creamery based in Portland, opening its first Seattle location;
    • True Burger Co. – Using locally and regionally sourced ingredients;
    • Slate Coffee Roasters – A three-year old speciality coffee roasting and retail company with four locations in Seattle (and a second location in the South Satellite Food Court);
    • Tap & Pour – Serving amber ales and drafts.
  2. Evergreens – The brand offers healthy meals in U-Village and five downtown Seattle location, operated by The Yarrow Group;
  3. Poppa Woody’s – A partnership between Sub Pop Records and Li’l Woody’s, Seattle’s Best Burgers with four locations in Seattle and Ballard, operated by SP-LW, LLC;
  4. Lucky Louie Alaska Seafood Shack by Kathy Casey – Operated by 1915 Kchouse Concepts, LLC, a local women-operated company by Stacy House and Kathy Casey, this features Northwest-inspired quick serve seafood;
  5. Asian Box – With roots in San Francisco, offers Asian favourites on noodles or rice, and is operated by SSP America;
  6. Ballard Beer Hall – Designed to reflect Seattle’s craft beer scene, by SSP America;
  7. Banh Shop – Delivering fresh flavours of Southeast Asia, through SSP America;
  8. Caffe Ladro – Based in Seattle since 1994 offering a range of coffee with a menu from the Ladro bakery (SSP America);
  9. Good Bar – The airport version of a brand located in Pioneer Square, operated by SSP America;
  10. Kio Shi Sushi Bento – Made to order Japanese food by Seattle master sushi chef, Hajime Sato, operated by SSP America;
  11. La Place – Serving sustainably sourced products produced locally in the Pacific Northwest, operated by SSP America;
  12. Le Grand Comptoir – Featuring an array of wines from Washington vineyards and a regionally-inspired menu, operated by SSP America;
  13. Pallino – Local fast-casual Italian-American favourites, operated by Pallino SeaTac, LLC;
  14. Pei Wei Asian Diner – Delivering handcrafted, pan-Asian dishes made to order by the founders of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, operated by SSP America;
  15. Seattle Made – Featuring products designed and manufactured in Seattle by more than 350 member makers, operated by Pacific Gateway Concessions LLC;
  16. Standard Bakery and Broadcast Coffee Roasters – Offering a taste of the Pacific Northwest, operated by Pacific Gateway Concessions LLC;
  17. Starbucks Urban Market (two locations on Concourse D and bag claim) – Complementing the offering of Starbucks with news, sundries, travel necessities and more, operated by Host International;
  18. Stone House Café – Offering home-style cooking with a location on Rainier Avenue, operated by BF Foods, LLC;
  19. Swarovski – A leading name in fashion jewellery, operated by Pacific Gateway Concessions LLC;
  20. The Habit Burger Grill – Best known for the Charburger, with three locations in the Seattle area, operated by SSP America;
  21. The News Stand – A travel unit and newsstand, operated by Pacific Gateway Concessions LLC;
  22. Village Pub & Grill – A modern twist on a traditional English Pub, operated by Airport Concessions, LLC.

Combined, annual revenue from Sea-Tac concessionaires is about US$275 million.

After the awards were made, the Port of Seattle followed up with further comment on its decisions and responded to disappointed losing bidders.

In a statement, the Port of Seattle said: “Competition was fierce and we appreciate that some firms are disappointed by their results. At the same time, we had many terrific local businesses that submitted proposals. We are proud to help small businesses grow and we know that the Seattle community and all of our travellers can support growing businesses as well as established favourites.

“The best financial proposal does not always win. There are seven criteria, and the criteria that receive the most weight are concept development and unit design/materials/capital investment. All other criteria receive the same weight.

“Sea-Tac Airport is a big place – there’s room for lots of great businesses. We will issue another round of spaces for lease soon.”

Pace of change: “There was more competition and there were more local concepts submitted for these leases than we’ve ever received before,” said the Port of Seattle (Sea-Tac Airport’s Central Terminal pictured)

Reacting to news of SSP America’s new concessions, Executive Vice President Pat Murray said:By prioritising dining concepts that are fresh and responsive to consumer demands, and ensuring participation by small and disadvantaged businesses, SeaTac is known throughout the industry as being ahead of the curve with their airport retail and dining programme. The Port’s focus on these goals was well defined throughout the process, and we are pleased that we were able to assemble packages that the port found responsive to their priorities.”

He added: “While the competitive bid process the port ran was standard industry practice, they are steps ahead in being industry leaders by emphasising the customer experience and providing an economic ladder for small business. We’re very happy to be a new partner with Sea-Tac and we look forward to serving the airport and its customers.”

HyFlyers’ Vice President Nate Miles added: “We’re excited to be part of bringing new, innovative dining concepts to SeaTac. We found the process to be open and clear in outlining the port’s priorities, and we were happy to participate in it. We are especially encouraged that the port is allowing small companies like ours to take part in developing new business at the airport.”

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