The Indianapolis Airport Authority has outlined upcoming plans for a concessions overhaul in an effort to broaden the scope of local offerings at the airport and shift the balance between pre- and post-security concessions.
In an information session this week for food, beverage and retail companies interested in bidding on upcoming opportunities, airport officials shared their vision with 120 participants. More than three dozen existing concession leases will expire in 2018.
The overhaul will give Indianapolis International (IND) the opportunity to revamp its retail and restaurant offerings to align with research, industry trends and passenger feedback, the airport authority said, noting that travelers have indicated that they want more food and beverage variety, and they want concessions placed in more convenient locations, particularly in the post-security concourses.
“Over the last 10 years since the new terminal was built, the local Indianapolis food scene has flourished, gaining national recognition,” said Mario Rodriguez, executive director. “As one of the top airports in the nation, it is key that we provide a passenger experience that includes both national chains and the talents and creativity of local businesses that have given Indianapolis its personality and flavor.”
Rodriguez said with a balance in variety also comes a need for balance in where those businesses are located in the airport. Currently, more than 40 percent of the airport’s retail and restaurants are situated pre-security. However, sales data shows greater than 70 percent of dining and shopping take place in the concourses, only accessible after clearing security.
“Traveler feedback and sales data show us that we need to rethink the ratio of concessions in our pre-security Civic Plaza and how that aligns to where travelers actually spend their time and money,” said David Shaw, director of concessions and air service at IND.
To find that balance, the IAA has been hosting outreach meetings with businesses over the past year, providing information about the airport’s concession plan and the upcoming proposal process and creating networking forums for prime contractors and subcontractors to connect.