Oakland airport kicks off food concession makeover after 10 year-high passenger count

The East Bay airport funneled nearly 13.6 million passengers through its terminals last year, the highest count since 2007 and a 4 percent bump compared to the prior year. The increase was due to the addition of new routes that boosted the number of OAK’s nonstop destinations to 67 — the highest in the airport’s 91-year history.

The airport’s previous record continues to be 2007, when it saw 14.6 million passengers.

To keep the momentum, the airport will kick off an extensive overhaul to its food and beverage concessions program. Throughout the year, OAK will roll out openings for a string of local purveyors including Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Tanya Holland, Farley’s, Drake’s Brewing, Red Bay Coffee, and A16, among others. The new vendors were approved by the Port of Oakland last year as part of four concession packages that included spaces for 17 tenants in Terminals 1 and 2.

“We remain optimistic about the future as the airport continues to expand its air service reach and makes great strides in enhancing the overall customer experience here,» Bryant Francis, the director of aviation for the Port of Oakland said in a statement.

Concessions are a significant revenue generator for airports, and officials are realizing a solid food program has a direct impact on travelers’ experiences. Revenue from food and beverage programs accounted for 38 percent of the nearly $2 billion in concession revenue reported in 2017, according to the Airports Council International-North America.

OAK’s emphasis on local vendors is similar to the strategy San Francisco International Airport has deployed and is already reaping benefits from. Airport Director Ivar Satero recently said 87 percent of SFO’s food and beverage leases and almost 60 percent of its retail tenants have local San Francisco Bay Area owners.

At SFO, food and beverage sales raked in more than $241 million in 2016, more than half of the $368 million the airport’s concessions program made that year.

Source: San Francisco Business Time

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