DETROIT NEWS Enlarge
ROMULUS, Mich. — The Wayne County-Detroit Metropolitan Airport is upgrading food and beverage offerings at the McNamara terminal with a blend of local eateries, national chains, and technology allowing people to be served at the gate.
The airport in Romulus hopes the effort will boost revenue from nonairline sources, the Detroit News reported.
The 25 new concessions at the largest passenger airport in the state are expected to be finished by the end of 2015. Airport officials expect revenue to climb annually from $42 million in sales in 2013 to an estimated $63 million.
Earlier this year the airport revamped its retail sites, replacing many of its news and gift stores. Officials project that the revenue from retail locations there will be more than $7.7 million, up nearly 17 percent in the first full year.
Plans call for restaurants including P.F. Chang’s, Chick-fil-A, and Andiamo, plus offerings from Detroit’s Eastern Market and Zingerman’s of Ann Arbor. The “Gate-Hold Experience” will offer food service to passengers in some parts of the airport.
“We want to be unique. We don’t want to be a follower,” said Greg Hatcher, the airport’s director of concessions and quality assurance. “We tried to address passenger needs and new trends. We will have a Chili’s, we will have a Max & Erma’s, but in most places we want something really unique.”
DETROIT NEWS Enlarge
Construction is expected to be phased in over several months. Some businesses aren’t expected to stay, such as an Einstein Bros. Bagels location and Jose Cuervo Tequileria. An Espressament Illy is replacing a Starbucks.
Seated in the south end of Concourse A as he ate peanuts, 55-year-old Christopher Freeman, who lives near New Orleans, said he travels to see family in Michigan about once a month.
Mr. Freeman said he welcomes the new Eastern Market cuisine, as well as the ability to place orders and be served while waiting at the gate.
“I love Eastern Market so I’m curious to see that. I think it’s a great concept rather than have something generic like the various fast-food restaurants,” he said. “Especially for the people who’ve got layovers, it gives them something other than the usual stuff.”