Airport Business

MAY 2017

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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CONCESSIONS May 2017 airportbusiness 33 Concessions Person of the Year went to Randy Goodman , director of concessions at Houston Airport System (HAS) . Director of Aviation Mario Diaz lauded Goodman, with HAS since 1994, for his leadership in improving the concessions at George Bush Intercontinental and Houston Hobby airports. "Randy has shep- herded the HAS concessions program with great effectiveness and led his team through encouragement, professionalism development and a drive for improvement," he wrote. The judges congratulate all the winners in what was a spirited contest this year. Here are highlights of some of the winners who stood out in the competition. The judges started with the Best Food & Beverage program, broken down into large, medium and small airports. In the large cate- gory, first place went to Westfield for Los Angeles International Airport's Terminals T2 and T6. We felt that Westfield brought a real feel of Southern California in both termi- nals with concepts including BUILT (Custom Burgers), SLAPFISH Modern Seafood Shack, Wahoo's Fish Tacos and Point the Way Cafe. Chicago O'Hare International Airport's Terminal 5 won second place for local favor- ites like celebrity Chef Rick Bayliss' Tortas Frontera, RJ Grunts Burgers & Fries and Hub 51. Third place went to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's Terminal D, which showcases local brands including two restau- rants by popular local Chef Stephen Pyles, CRU Food & Wine Bar and Cantina Laredo, balanced with the expected national brands. In the medium category, Sacramento International Airport — a Griesbach winner in 2012 — won first place for its local-centric eateries in Terminals A and B . New additions of street-side restaurants included Paesanos, Mountain Concierge at Reno-Tahoe International Airport won the award for Best Innovative Consumer Experience Concept/Practice. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows FIVE CONCEPTS THAT WENT MISSING IN THE AWARDS SUBMISSIONS I'VE BEEN judging this content for eight years. I've also been to more than my fair share of airports, so I have a fine sense of what I like to see in terminals. After pouring through this year's entries, I was sur- prised that there were so many great concepts that didn't submit this year. Below are my top five. f 1. For Best Food & Beverage Program, OTG Management should have submitted the eateries at Newark-Liberty International Airport's United Airlines Terminal C. It has invested $120 million to bring in great concepts including award-winner Saison, Tacquila (New Jersey's largest tequila bar) and the Abruzzo Italian Steakhouse. f 2. Another Best Food & Beverage Program entry should have been Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in three words: Salt Lick BBQ. Any airport where you can smell barbecue is a winner in my book. f 3. In the Best Innovative Consumer Experience or Concept, I'm scratching my head on why Miami International Airport didn't submit its beacon navigation program. I used it extensively to find my way around the airport and it was easy and intuitive to use. f 4. I would have also liked to see American Express submit its new Centurion Lounge at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in the Best Innovative Consumer Experience or Concept. Amex continues to expand that popular brand in airports. I'm still dreaming about my time spent at the DFW and Miami lounges. f 5. OTG Management concept Little Purse — the brainchild of "Top Chef" contestant Dale Talde — should have been submitted for Best New Food & Beverage Concept - Full Service. Not only does it offer a variety of Asian-inspired dumplings, travelers can also get meals featuring noodles hand-pulled onsite.

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