TAMPA — Tampa International Airport hopes its terminal restaurants and shops will reflect more local influence, flavor and branding in a new concessions program that will be phased in from 2015 to 2017.
“Our goal is to not only increase profits but to increase customer satisfaction and get more people to understand what the Tampa Bay region is all about,” airport Chief Executive Officer Joe Lopano said at Thursday’s Hillsborough County Aviation Authority meeting.
In the past year or so, the airport has added representatives of local outlets with the Green Iguana Bar & Grill, Columbia Restaurant, Cigar City Brewing and First Flight Wine Bar.
But the airport also is changing its concessions contract paradigm from one in which a prime concessionaire operates and contracts for all concessions to multiple concessionaires that operate at multiple locations at a facility.
Airport Revenue News reported average sales under the multiple concessionaire paradigm at U.S. medium and large airports was $9.39 per departing passenger in 2012 compared with $7.81 under the prime concessionaire concept.
Tampa International’s contract with prime concessionaire HMSHost expires Sept. 30, 2015, and in conjunction with the new strategy, Bhavesh A. Patel, the airport’s director of concessions, created the Airport Concessions Redevelopment Program.
Patel envisions selling space, not including storage or food court/common sitting areas, will grow from 87,300 square feet to 107,000 square feet, with space reduced in the main terminal but expanded in the airside terminals, where passengers tend to spend more time and money.
One part of the concessions redevelopment project is to provide information on the fundamentals of airport procurement and contract solicitations at Tampa International.
The next workshops for businesses are scheduled April 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, and April 17 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, 1002 E. Palm Ave., Tampa.