City council approves food and retail concession contracts for Houston Airport

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Houston City Council has approved travel retailer Paradies Lagardère’s food and retail concession contracts for the new international terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Texas.

The new food and beverage program will feature a combination of local Houston flavor and national brands. The local concepts include Houston brands like The Annie Café & Bar, The Kitchen (Woodlands, Texas) and Common Bond Bakery and Café, complemented by tried-and-true national favorites like Chili’s and MOD Pizza.

Paradies Lagardère, which is already operating concessions at Houston Airport, will develop and operate 10 new retail concession locations inside the terminal. The new retail program will include stores such as Houston Supply Co., UNOde50, Be Relax (spa service), LEGO and iStore. In addition, Jetero Market, developed by Paradies Lagardère to celebrate the history of Houston and IAH, has been named after the group of Houston businessmen who purchased the site for IAH. The story of that undertaking will be showcased inside the store, alongside souvenirs and gifts crafted by Texas artisans.

The week prior to this contract approval, the city council approved another concessions contract for food and beverage to food travel specialist SSP America. SSP America agreed to develop and operate 16 food and beverage concession locations inside the new international terminal. Both operators have committed to implementing new technologies such as self-ordering kiosks, 24/7 access to offerings for delayed passengers, and potential opportunities to implement gate service and advanced ordering systems.

The two 10-year agreements are projected to generate as much as US$116m in revenue for Houston Airports. Additionally, the food, beverage and retail options are expected to create at least 390 jobs spread across 26 concession locations.

Mario Diaz, director of Houston Aviation, said, “As one of the biggest and most modern airport facilities in the country, the new international terminal at IAH deserves the best dining and shopping experiences. As we expand our reach across the world, offering unique local, regional and national concepts ensures all customers will experience Houston’s diverse and vibrant flavors without ever having to leave the airport.”

Pat Murray, deputy chief executive officer at SSP America, said, “SSP America began our Houston operations in 2008, and we’ve been proud members of the IAH community every day since then. Most of our partners and many of our team members have been with us since we expanded operations in 2014. Houston has been an incredibly important part of our growth as a company. It’s hard to describe just how honored we are by the opportunity to create 340 new jobs for local residents. We have a tremendous passion for service and will continue to do all we can to support the IAH mission and goals.”

Gregg Paradies, president and CEO of Paradies Lagardère, said, “We appreciate our partnership with Houston Airports and are thrilled with the opportunity to deliver an amazing retail program for the George Bush Intercontinental Airport that will generate more than 50 new jobs and over 100 total jobs in the Houston community. We’re confident that our incredible designs, great blend of recognized national brands and popular local concepts, support of the local community and leading innovation will fully endorse Houston’s vision of being a five-star global service gateway.”

To see a video rendering of the new international terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Texas, click here.

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