Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Indianapolis Airport Food

Cory at Property Lines reports that quite a number of local restaurants have signed deals for the new airport including Patachou (which had been announced) Harry and Izzy's and Scholar's Inn. Harry and Izzy's will take 3000 square feet for their new venture. With the sheer number of local eateries the airport is brining in, it would be interesting to know, from a business perspective, how they're making this happen. Many of these restaurants are not equipped to run a second location, so are they partnering? Licensing their brands? Operating on a food stand basis? Sending food out to a third party? It can work, but it will be interesting to see how it's being executed. Local food and brands can be a great idea. I fly through Memphis often and try to eat BBQ in the Northwest terminal whenever I can. Even though the experience with plastic plates and knives isn't as pleasant as it would be at the original location, it's so much better than TGI Fridays, the ubiquitous Cheers, or the airport Puck's. Indy is more of a destination airport than a hub so it will be interesting to see if traffic can sustain, long term, this many branded eateries.

If the comments are any indication, it sounds like a fair number of restaurant owners are excited about the possibilities.

6 comments:

bhorg said...

I think this is brilliant. I imagine King David's will do really well.

Donald said...

I'm not sure of your questions about execution, but I love the idea of being able to get a Shapiro's sandwich, H&I's shrimp cocktail or some other local treat while I'm waiting for my plane.

A question for you Braingirl... What kind of fancy-shmancy BBQ joints do you frequent where you get real plates and silverware? All the best places I've been to deliver the meat on paper and you'll maybe get a plastic fork if you get beans or mac and cheese ;)

Anonymous said...

When they announced the first round of restaurants (including Patachou), I thought there was mention that these were all concept licenses run by a company specializing in airport concessions. I believe the company is HMS Hosts-- which is probably a familiar credit card charge for you regular travelers. I've eaten at similar concepts at O'Hare in Chicago. Popular Chicago establishments like Lou Mitchell's and Billy Goat Tavern both have concept locations in the airport. I know the Billy Goat is operated by HMS, so I would assume that the Lou Mitchell's is as well. I believe the idea is that serving an airport's needs is difficult-- especially with newer airports putting all the retail and dining options beyond the security point. I don't know the specifics, but I am sure the rules and regulations on employees, kitchen equipment (knives!), etc. are more than most restautant owners would like to deal with. However, I would be interested in knowing how these deal work-- someone has to be watching to make sure the sauce for St. Elmo's shrimp is perfect and that the Patachou omelets are just right. Otherwise, you end up damaging the brand and reputation.

Hannah said...

I can speak on behalf of King David (by the way, thanks bhorg!) that given our tiny size and limited resources, we opted for a licensing agreement with HMS Host, along with Patachou and 96th Street Steakburgers. We are thrilled to hear about all the other great local brands that are going to accompany us!

braingirl said...

Ahh, HMS Host did the deal as a license agreement. Very smart!

James said...

HMSHost, formerly known as Host Marriott Services, is world-renowned for creating innovative concession plans in travel venues. HMSHost has revenues of more than $2.0 billion and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Autogrill S.p.A. Together, HMSHost, HMSHost Europe and the rest of the Autogrill Group are recognized leaders in retail, food and beverage concessions serving people on the move. With operations in 15 countries around the globe, the combined Company has annual revenues over $4.0 billion.

The quote is from the Marriott/Host Home Page.

I agree that it is brilliant marketing. As for the execution, I'm very, very skeptical. I sure wouldn't risk diluting my brand in this manner...