The sights and sounds of Music City have long lived at Nashville International Airport (BNA), but now the authentic tastes of Nashville have arrived. At the August board meeting, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) Board of Commissioners awarded a 10-year concessions contract to Fraport USA that will dramatically improve the concessions experience through a new business model that allows Nashville restaurateurs and retailers to independently operate and fully control their restaurants and shops at BNA.
“From listening to our passengers and the community at large, it became clear that the time had come to reimagine BNA’s concessions program,” said Dr. A. Dexter Samuels, MNAA Board of Commissioners chair. “After a careful and comprehensive planning, research and competitive bid process, Fraport was awarded the concessions contract and will implement a program that brings local restaurant owners and retailers to the airport that will truly transform our passengers’ experience. BNA will soon be home to some of the well-known names that put Nashville’s culinary scene on the map, as well as smaller, more diverse restaurants and shops that make Nashville distinctive.”
MNAA’s previous concessions model generally did not allow for independent, local ownership of the concessions and retail shops at BNA.
In a change from the current practice, the new concessions model will also feature what is known as “street pricing,” meaning airport concessions will be priced at a level equivalent to what a consumer/passenger would find for the item at a similar location outside the airport.
The concession contract includes the design, construction, lease and management of approximately 69,000 square feet of concessions space throughout BNA. Fraport will lease space to local business owners who will independently manage their restaurants and shops, providing customers with the same experience at BNA they would receive at one of their locations in 12South, Five Points or anywhere else in Nashville.
“We want BNA to reflect our great city in every way possible, and we’re proud to say that this new concessions agreement will serve to create a more authentic Nashville experience at the airport,” said Doug Kreulen, MNAA president and CEO. “The moment you arrive at BNA, we want it clear that this is Music City, with the sights, sounds and tastes the Nashville brand implies. This new model will amplify the experience for travelers, while also providing new opportunities for chefs, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs of all kinds.”
The new program is also designed to increase opportunities for disadvantaged businesses. MNAA has set a goal for 22.6 percent involvement of Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE), but the new concessions agreement will ultimately produce ACDBE participation of 40 percent over the life of the contract.
“We’re excited to begin working with the Airport Authority and look forward to creating a breakthrough program that elevates the customer experience at Nashville International Airport,” said Ben Zandi, Fraportpresident and CEO. “This is Music City, and we have set our sights high in terms of bringing that star quality to the travel experience. We aim to set a new standard for passenger satisfaction at BNA.”
Leasing and construction will begin Feb. 1, 2019, with an anticipation of new restaurants and retail shops opening later the same year.
Fraport USA (formerly Airmall) was the first to introduce a branded retail program and street pricing model for U.S. airports, creating the foundation for modern American airport concessions development.
BNA is currently served by 15 airlines and offers 460 daily flights. Nashville International Airport provides nonstop air service to more than 65 destinations.