Concessionaires compete for new contracts at Hartsfield-Jackson

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Credit: Christina Matacotta

Fourteen companies are competing for contracts to open restaurants and shops at Hartsfield-Jackson International as the world’s busiest airport seeks the largest overhaul to its food and retail offerings in years.

A contract for several locations on Concourse B, one of the airport’s busiest, attracted more than a dozen proposals. The airport is looking to refresh its concessions with eateries like a new casual dining restaurant, fast casual restaurant, coffee spots and a bar with food.

Separately, airport concessionaires Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services and Areas USA are also competing for another contract for multiple locations across Concourses C, E and F.

These are some of the first proposals submitted for new restaurants and shops across the airport, more than a decade after the last airport-wide refresh of concessions.

Hartsfield-Jackson plans to issue more requests for proposals in the months to come, and ultimately contract out more than 100 restaurants, shops and services across the terminal and concourses.

Plans to revamp food and retail outlets were delayed for years by contracting issues and a federal corruption investigation at Atlanta City Hall. The pause continued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current contracting effort started late last year.

At an information session last year for concessionaires interested in the contracts, Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager Balram Bheodari said the airport is preparing for future growth and pledged to uphold integrity.

Hartsfield-Jackson is dominated by Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, whose CEO Ed Bastian called it “the best airport in the world.”

But, Bastian added that the airport’s concessions and services for travelers “absolutely... needs to be invested in and revitalized.”

“I think there’s opportunity to do a much better job here for people that are passing through Atlanta, not just local Atlantans,” Bastian said.

The departure of the airport’s concessions director late last year raised concerns among some long-time concessionaires as the procurement process moved forward.

Last month, Hartsfield-Jackson announced the hiring of several executives, including Tyronia Smith as assistant general manager for commercial revenue, overseeing concessions, parking, customer experience, ground transportation, and marketing and brand strategy. The airport is in the process of hiring a new concessions director.

Concourse B bidders

More than a dozen companies or partnerships submitted bids to operate shops or eateries on Concourse B. They include: Areas USA, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, CI ATL (Concessions International), MCA ATL Hospitality Partners, Jackmont Hospitality, SSP America, Fashion Poze Productions, OTG ATL Venture, Crews Enterprises, Host+ATLNextGenPartners I, ATL Dine and Fly, Paradies Lagardere @ ATL Con-B, Wow Brands Atlanta, and Coffee and Story Inc.