JFK Gets a Makeover: HMSHost Transforming Airport into Culinary Destination

Carriers Partnering with Concessionaires to Enhance the Boarding Experience

May 16, 2007, 01:00 ET from HMSHost Corporation

    BETHESDA, Md., May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- More airlines are partnering with
 concessionaires to determine which brands 'wine and dine' airport
 passengers in an effort to enhance the consumer travel experience before
 boarding, according to HMSHost, the world's largest travel dining and
 shopping operator. The company announced today that John F. Kennedy
 International Airport (JFK), the leading international air passenger
 gateway in the United States, is being transformed into a dining
 "destination" through the awarding of three food and beverage contracts to
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     "Many airlines think that what we eat and drink near their gates -- or
 bring on board -- is an integral part of a traveler's overall experience,"
 said Joe Waller, vice president of business development for HMSHost.
 "Carriers want the airport food and beverage offerings to reflect their
 brands and their passengers' tastes."
     HMSHost recently was awarded three new and extended concession
 contracts for JFK, two with carriers that control the space in their
 respective terminals. HMSHost entered into the Terminal 1 concession
 contract extension with the Terminal One Group Association (TOGA); Terminal
 2 with Delta Airlines; and Terminal 7 with British Airways.
     According to the terms of the contracts, HMSHost is developing, leasing
 and managing a total of more than 24,000 square feet of space at JFK.
 Combined, these terminals service departing flights on more than two dozen
 international and domestic carriers. The contracts expand HMSHost's
 presence at JFK and in the New York area, where the company operates more
 than 31 dining facilities at three other airports.
     Joan Vincenz, managing director of Product Marketing for Delta Air
 Lines said, "Part of offering superior service is providing a superior
 experience before our customers board." Delta, which recently completed a
 multi-million dollar renovation of its Terminal 2 facility, served more
 than 3.4 million enplaned passengers at JFK in 2006, according to the US
 Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
     HMSHost researched and developed Delta's concession program, negotiated
 all tenant agreements and worked with concession owners to adapt menus for
 the airport environment. "HMSHost brings the industry expertise, local
 knowledge and commitment we need to make the most of our customers' time at
 JFK," added Vincenz.
     Celebrity chef restaurants, organic bakeries, martini bars and
 interactive caf�s will line the concourses that lead to flights to
 Rochester, Riyadh and other points accessible from JFK. Dining concepts
 created by HMSHost exclusively for airports in partnership with chefs from
 popular restaurants will join venerable brands such as Balducci's that are
 establishing airport outposts for the first time.
     "Travelers want their favorite brands at JFK, but with the speed and
 convenience they have come to expect from airport dining," said Waller.
     HMSHost was awarded a seven-year extension (through 2014) of its
 existing contract for construction of four new facilities. Working with
 Terminal One Group Association (TOGA), the company will introduce a
 Starbucks Coffee and the following new brands scheduled to open this
     -- Idlewild Wine Bar -- Idlewild emulates a sidewalk cafe and offer wines
        from America's top producing regions, with an emphasis on Hudson Valley
     -- Medalist Sports Bar -- Medalist features international sporting events
        such as soccer, alpine skiing and Formula One racing on several
        television screens.   Made to order grilled sandwiches, pizzas, salads
        and wraps will be served.
     -- Sbarros/Greenwich Village Bistro -- A buffet of freshly prepared food
        boasts Italian 'home-made' flavors.  Greenwich Village Bistro's unique
        ambiance is reminiscent of the Manhattan neighborhood that bears its
     HMSHost's extended, 11-year contract in Delta's terminal includes:
     -- Balducci's Food Lover's Market:  What began as a fruit-and-vegetable
        stand in Brooklyn in 1916 now has a global audience in Queens.
        Balducci's is known for its creative, high quality gourmet salads,
        soups and fresh-baked pastries.  Now open in the Delta terminal,
        Travelers are able to customize their selections at Balducci's made-to-
        order station.
     -- Todd English's Bonfire Steakhouse: Celebrated executive chef and
        restaurateur Todd English will open Bonfire Steakhouse, a brand new 84-
        seat establishment that upgrades the tone for Terminal 2 with an
        exciting menu of globally inspired cuisine and a cutting edge design.
        Slated to open June 6, the upscale menu will feature English's famous
        Steak Frites, crab-meat Nachos, Roasted Swordfish and Kobe Beef Burger,
        as well as a full taqueria created especially for Delta customers.
     -- Todd English's Bonfire Bar:  Bonfire Bar, opening this spring, will be
        the perfect destination for travelers looking for a stylish venue close
        to their gate, where they can enjoy Todd's signature cuisine and
        creative house cocktails.
     -- The French Meadow Bakery & Cafe:  Minneapolis' French Meadow caters to
        the demand for natural and organic foods.  Muffins and scones -- baked
        fresh daily in the airport -- are served alongside an array of
        specialty breads at the recently opened Delta location.
     -- Legends Sports Bar:  Opening this summer, Legends Sports Bar will
        immerse travelers in the sports history of the Big Apple.  It will
        broadcast continuous coverage of games and interviews with local
     -- Starbucks Coffee:  The leading retailer and roaster of specialty
        coffee, Starbucks Coffee remains an airport destination for travelers.
        Starbucks will open in late June.
     HMSHost's contract for eight new food and beverage concepts extends
 through 2015. Facilities scheduled to open this fall at British Airways-T7
 will include Todd English's Bonfire, Balducci's Food Lover's Market, two
 Starbucks Coffee locations and these new concepts:
     -- Bombay Sapphire Martini Bar -- Travelers who want a gourmet bite and a
        signature cocktail without visiting the food court can stop by
        Sapphire, which will feature Balducci's menu items with take away
     -- Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express & Wolfgang Puck Grab & Go -- World-
        renowned chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck will bring his distinctive
        cooking to T7 passengers.  The menu will include gourmet sandwiches,
        signature soups and Puck's celebrated gourmet pizzas.
     -- Zoom Interactive Cafe -- Fusing cutting edge technology, food and drink
        and the hottest products on the market, Zoom Cafe will feature a Zoom
        Gadget Zone where customers download music, surf the Web, refuel iPods
        and purchase tech products from Zoom's patented, self-service,
        automated retail system.
     About HMSHost
     HMSHost is world-renowned for creating customized shopping and dining
 spaces in travel venues. The innovative company operates in more than 100
 airport locations around the globe, including 19 of the 20 busiest airports
 in North America. HMSHost has annual sales in excess of $2.3 billion and
 employs more than 28,000 associates worldwide.
     A wholly-owned subsidiary of Autogrill S.p.A, HMSHost and the Autogrill
 Group are recognized leaders in travel amenities. With sales exceeding euro
 3.9 billion, Autogrill is present in 32 countries with more than 4,800
 points of sale in more than 1050 locations (including 138 airports and 645
 motorways) where 50,000 employees serve over 840 million customers every
     Visit www.HMSHost.com for more information.

SOURCE HMSHost Corporation