Best Food and Beverage Program - Large Airport: First Place

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Terminal 1-Lindbergh – Concourse G

Operator: OTG Management

OTG Management was selected by Delta Air Lines and the Metropolitan Airports Commission to operate all dining and retail shops on Concourse G at Terminal 1-Lindbergh, beginning service on Jan. 1, 2012. OTG’s goal is to create an exceptional airport experience for its passengers and it has created an exceptional experience for MSP travelers through its technologically innovative gate hold concept in addition to offering fresh, often locally sourced food created by the Twin Cities’ most well-respected local chefs.

 

OTG transformed the entire Concourse G, replacing dated, traditional venues with an upscale new, local-chef-driven array of restaurants that maximizes use of local ingredients and suppliers. Gate hold areas were renovated with comfortable, outlet-rich tables and seating bars extending out of the restaurants themselves and into the gate hold, breaking down barriers between restaurants and waiting areas. More than 2,500 iPads were installed at the seats, putting customers in charge of their dining experience. Travelers use the iPads to browse menu selections, order and pay for food and drink, check their flight status or email, catch up on the day’s news or simply entertain themselves. By extending the flow of restaurant seating into the gate hold areas, travelers can make the most of their airport experience, enjoying refreshing food and drink up until the time they board without worrying that they will miss boarding announcements. Gross food and beverage sales on Concourse G have increased 39 percent under OTG, and sales per enplaned passenger have risen from $4.24 in 2011 to $5.38 currently, an increase of 27 percent.

 

In 2011 Host & McDonalds combined gross food and beverage sales were $14,030,162, and $4.24 per enplaned passenger.  In 2013 OTG’s gross food and beverage sales are projected at $19,506,000, and $5.38 per enplaned passenger, based on sales for the first 6 months of 2013.

 

The OTG MSP Experience on Concourse G consists of 11 distinct food and beverage concepts. Those concepts include full service bars and restaurants, a coffee shop and a gourmet food hall with grab and go items, hot and cold food bars and a fro-yo station. All food hall items are priced by the pound, enabling travelers to take full control of the cost of their meal. The transformation also includes several retail shops and high-tech hold room enhancements at all gates. While names of the new restaurants might not be familiar to local travelers, all concepts were developed by locally well-known chefs and emphasize use of local food product suppliers. Delicious, healthful vegan, kosher and gluten-free meals are ubiquitous and, like other menu options, come at a variety of price points suitable for families as well as seasoned travel warriors. Many flavor profiles are represented, including Asian (Shoyu), Italian (Volante), pizza (Vero), French (Mimosa), American (TwinBurger, Mill City Tavern), gourmet coffee (World Bean) and more. James Beard Award winner, social media sensation, and star of the popular Travel Channel TV program Bizarre Foods, Chef Andrew Zimmern crafted the globally inspired menu for two MinniBar locations. Zimmern is a proud Minnesotan, and his involvement in the Concourse G food and beverage program has garnered much attention for MSP. In addition to Andrew Zimmern’s fame, three of the other local chefs represented at MSP have been finalists in various categories for the prestigious James Beard Award in recent years, including Chef Doug Flicker (Volante), Chef Lenny Russo (Mill City Tavern) and Chef Russell Klein (Mimosa).

 

To select the best chefs to curate the concepts at the airport, OTG’s head concept chef Michael Coury spent months in the Twin Cities getting to know the region, food trends and restaurants. Once Coury started forming the team, OTG relied heavily on the local chefs’ expertise to shape the menus and source the farms that had proven most successful in their own local establishments. To further that local trend, chefs at the airport still communicate routinely with the chief chef partners. Additionally, OTG has hired staff from these chefs’ kitchens to lead each of the concepts at the airport.

 

OTG’s proprietary iPad software allows a guest to browse menu offerings and order items to their seat either in the restaurant or at their gate. The merchandising strategy recognizes the diverse needs of guests traveling for business or leisure, with or without companions or family members, and whether or not there are special dietary needs or wants.  Expansive menus and product offerings accommodate all these needs, including families on budgets and those looking for kosher meals, gluten-free products, as well as for airport employees seeking discounts and value specials. In addition, OTG works closely with airport management and the airlines to participate in delayed-passenger programs and other initiatives to improve the overall MSP experience. OTG believes in honest street pricing, even in airports that allow for street-plus pricing. OTG delivers quality food and expansive retail in innovative, clean, modern environments -- and the revenues generated reflect the overall customer experience and satisfaction.

 

OTG has teamed with the top restaurant and retail design groups and an expert audio consultant to create a distinctive guest experience. Fresh designs complement the individual concepts and draw guests into the restaurants 

By the Numbers:

Annual sales per square foot: $737
 

ACI-NA Board Chair Mark Reis and Interim ACI-NA President Debby McElroy present the 2013 first place award for Best Food and Beverage Program for Large Airports to Eric Johnson, of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport,  for Concourse G.

 

 

and shops with an energetic, clean, modern appeal that is both beautiful and comfortable. The program continually evolves, remaining fresh and surprising even to the most frequent guests. OTG thinks beyond storefronts, using vivid design as a springboard to a memorable experience that instills a desire to travel through MSP again and again. The expansive selection and thoughtful placement of goods and services respond to the different needs of guests and ensure that guests can easily make and enjoy purchases – in the restaurants, shops, or at the gate --  no matter how limited their time may be. OTG gives travelers confidence their needs and wants will be met at MSP. The OTG Experience includes Apple iPads at most seats in its restaurants and in the gate waiting areas.  The proprietary iPad platform allows guests to order meals, shop, browse the Internet, play games and more. Orders are delivered to guests at their seats by attentive OTG servers.

In addition, OTG offers language support on the iPad, making it easier for guests to communicate in the language they best understand.

 

OTG creates an atmosphere of style and innovation while having fun and celebrating the dining and shopping excitement of the Twin Cities. Strong guest service is a signature of its success and is fostered at all levels of the company. OTG is recognized throughout the industry by business partners and peers for excellent service. Flight delays can frustrate any passenger, but the frustration is worse when there is little or nothing available to eat or drink in the area. OTG believes if passengers are in the terminal due to delays, it is its responsibility to stay open, regardless of posted hours of operation, so to serve guests. This customer-first ethic is part of the OTG Experience.

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