The Dallas Morning News reports:
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is testing a program that allows its concessionaires to sell cold sandwiches, salads and snacks at terminal gates. It’s the first such experiment in the nation.
Au Bon Pain has opened a kiosk equipped with refrigerated cases at gate C19 in Terminal C, and TGI Friday’s has a similar operation at A18 in Terminal A. Corner Bakery will sell its fare out of a modified golf cart that will cover Terminal C between gates C27 and C35, depending on the flight schedule.
The three operations, which opened Oct. 7, are expected to serve 50 flights a day carrying about 5,000 passengers.
The test, which will last until January, is the latest example of how the aviation industry is trying to figure out how to get food to passengers without operating in-flight catering services.
D/FW also is hoping the program will boost its food and beverage revenue, which accounts for almost 10 percent of the airport’s total.
Sales of food, drinks, newspapers and gifts brought in $29.8 million in revenue during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, up almost 9 percent from the year before. But such revenue is still down more than 12 percent since before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Star Concessions spent $27,000 modifying a golf cart to house a refrigerator case for sandwiches and yogurt. It also carries snacks and hot coffee, all of which carry the Corner Bakery brand, owned by Dallas-based Brinker International Inc.
“We could probably do three or four of these carts just in Terminal C,” Mr. Aranza said. “They’ve been doing very well.”
Food items can be ordered as boxed meals, or a la carte. Prices range from 99 cents for a carton of milk to $10.50 for a box lunch including a sandwich, chips and a cookie. The cart and kiosks accept cash and credit cards.