Paradies Lagardère acquires competitor, expanding airport food unit

Concourse A food court at Hartsfield-Jackson. CURTIS COMPTON/CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Concourse A food court at Hartsfield-Jackson. CURTIS COMPTON/CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Atlanta-based airport concessionaire Paradies Lagardère is expanding its food and beverage operation with the acquisition of a competing airport restaurateur.

Paradies Lagardère announced Wednesday that its France-based parent company Lagardère Travel Retail has closed a deal to buy Tastes on the Fly.

Tastes on the Fly is a San Mateo, California,-based company with about 25 locations in airports in San Francisco, Denver, New York, Boston and Vancouver.

Integrating Tastes on the Fly into Paradies Lagardère’s operations will create one of the largest operators of airport concessionaires in North America, active in more than 90 airports with annual sales of more than $1.5 billion, according to Paradies Lagardère.

At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Paradies Lagardère operates newsstands, bookstores and retail shops, as well as restaurants such as Varasano’s and Cat Cora’s Kitchen on Concourse A.

Tastes on the Fly operates restaurants such as Bobby Van’s Grill and Paris Cafe at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Paradies Lagardère CEO Gregg Paradies will lead the integration of the two companies. When Paradies Lagardère announced in September it had signed an agreement for the acquisition, Gregg Paradies said in a written statement that the deal would “accelerate our growth and enable us to achieve our goal of becoming one of the largest and best airport restaurant operators in North America.”

The companies did not disclose the value of the deal.

Paradies gained prominence as a longtime operator of retail shops at the Atlanta airport and other airports, but has gone through a series of acquisitions in recent years to expand its size and scope.

Paradies was acquired by Lagardère Travel Retail in 2015. Then in 2018, Lagardère Travel Retail acquired Atlanta-based Hojeij Branded Foods to combine it with Paradies Lagardère, advancing its growth in the airport food and beverage business.