In the past few months, we’ve made major announcements about the new shops and restaurants coming to Terminal 1 as part of The Shops of RDU. Some have asked, how exactly do you pick what comes to the airport? Though we’d love to just handpick our favorite eats, the process is actually quite deliberate.
When the decision was made to modernize Terminal 1, the Airport Authority’s leadership team, informed Ingrid Hairston, who oversees airport concessions. That kicked off a process that led to the slate of new shopping and dining options coming next Spring.
After meeting with facilities, Ingrid’s first step was to work with a consultant to enhance our understanding of the region. All kinds of demographics were studied, including food and shopping trends, income, ethnic influences and the popularity of national and local brands. It was decided early on that the new shops and restaurants needed to celebrate our region.
Planning follows research. Ingrid and her team worked with the facilities team to determine how much space would be available in the “new” Terminal 1. They considered the square-footage needed for restaurants, where plumbing and other pipework could be located, how much space was available for kitchens and support spaces for both food and retail operations.
Once food and retail spaces were determined, they looked at the different types of shops and restaurants to be featured. Having a good mix of newsstand and specialty retail, as well as sit-down versus quick-serve dining, is important. Once the mix was decided, the fun part of selecting the new members of the Shops of RDU began.
Concessionaires were then invited to submit proposals based on all the technical criteria above. They were told to bring the best for our travelers. And, they did. The selection process was very tough. Top-ranked proposers met with our panel of staff members, each responsible for considering various aspects of the proposals. The panel considered the options and decided on the best.
From the ACC All-American Café to Char-Grill and the new One Stop stores to Marshall-Rousso, we think you’re going to be very pleased with the new additions to the Shops of RDU coming in Spring 2014. And, there’s one more yet to be announced. In June, a proposal will come before the Airport Authority Board for a new pre-security concession for Terminal 1.
Tell me which of the new shops and restaurants you’re most looking forward to in the comments below!