b'CONCESSIONSGSP 29and Communications for the airport. We dont like to take on unabated risk, but we arent afraid of taking on calculated risk. In this case, it was a calculated risk that provided us with a good opportunity to enhance the passenger experience and make sure that we are in control of providing excellent customer service.We have done this before with some of the other business lines that we had here at the Airport District, he adds, referring to the fixed-base operator and cargo services that GSP has operated profitably since 2016. In those cases, the airport established an operating unit named Cerulean Aviation, which is run by GSP staff. For concessions, officials took a slightly different approach by hiring a management and operating services contractor. TheAn operating services company now five concessions formerly operated bymanages this and four other food and OHM shuttered for various lengths of timebeverage concessions at the airport. during the associated bidding process and subsequent transition. expanded into theexperience, says Sell, adding that Metz There was a time when the lights wereairport sector afterwas also already an existing franchisee out at Chick-fil-A, from roughly May ofamassing experienceof some of the brands at the airport. 2020 until we reopened in Novemberin education andOur restaurant-centric approach isnt 2020, Carr recalls.healthcare for morean accident. We get firsthand knowledge than 20 years.from the franchise brands we operate In the meantime, GSP had foodWe started inaround the mid-Atlantic.and beverage options run by other2016 with the airportMAUREEN METZ Sell reports that the companys five-concessionaires, such as Hudson Group,near our hometown,year contract at GSP has resulted in a to offer guests. They included Vino Volo,Wilkes-Barre Scranton International,very collaborative relationship. We work Dunkin, Baskin-Robbins and Flatwoodand it worked out well, so we continuedvery closely with our partners at the Grill. Quite frankly, it was probably justto look for opportunities in the airportairport to make decisions that are mutually the right concessions mix for the numbermarket, she explains. We thought it wasbeneficial and improve the experience for of passengers traveling during thata good fit for us because not only are weall of our stakeholders, he remarks. pandemic time, says Carr. We wouldan on-site food service company, but we have been over-concessioned hadIn other words, the new contract is just everything else been open. also franchise and run the restaurants.what GSP was looking for.We thought our retail experience was the perfect fit in the ever-changing airportIt is very insightful going from just New Management collecting the monthly checks from dynamic.After vetting seven bidders that respondedyour concessionaire to actually having to the airports request for proposals, GSPRick Sell,the inside track to see the product mix selected Metz Culinary Management invice presidentand what is selling, says Carr. Since September 2020. Chick-fil-A reopenedof Restaurantthe change, we are looking at all of the under its purview in November 2020,Operations forvarious expenses: food costs, labor followed by the Wolfgang Puck location inMetz Culinarycosts, and the overall operating and January 2021. The airport opted to replaceManagement, notesmaintenance costs of the operation. It DC-3 Hot Dogs with QDOBA Mexicanthat the companysis very enlightening and gives a different Eats, which opened in August 2021. Theairport divisionRICK SELL perspective than operating under a two local brewery concepts are expectedcurrently managestraditional concessions agreement.to reopen as enplanements recover to pre- food, beverage, retail and vending pandemic levelshopefully this year.services in four U.S. airports.Preferred Business ModelMaureen Metz, vice president ofWhen the RFP was issued at GSP, weHands down, Carr says the new operating marketing for Metz Culinary Management,were already familiar with their operations,agreement is a better fit for GSP. notes that her familys businesscommitment to quality and the passenger AirportImprovement.comMarch | April 2022'