Houston City Council approves second of two food and beverage concession contracts for Hobby Airport

From Killen’s Barbeque to The Spot; premier local dining options are among 10 new restaurants joining the world-class culinary portfolio at the first and only 5-Star airport in North America.

March 8, 2023

HOUSTON – Houston Airports will elevate the guest experience for millions of travelers at William P. Hobby Airport, HOU. A new selection of distinct and fun culinary options will celebrate the mouth-watering and signature flavors of Houston. The eclectic mix of local favorites and trusted national brands will strengthen a sense of place within the airport.   

On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, Houston City Council gave final approval on a food and beverage concessions contract at HOU to Areas HOU JV, LLC. This is the first prime concessions contract at HOU for Areas, which operates more than 130 restaurants inside 10 major airports in the U.S. The company is a subsidiary of Areas, SAU – a global leader in travel hospitality – operating 1,900 restaurants and convenience stores in 89 airports across 10 countries around the world. 

The entrance of Areas into the Houston market will enhance the world-class guest experience at Hobby Airport, the first and only 5-Star airport in North America.  
The local concepts that capture the comforting, inviting and diverse flavors of Houston include iconic culinary landmarks like Killen’s Barbeque and The Spot, a premier dining experience on Galveston Island; and SpindleTap Brewery, an award-winning craft beer experience.  

The new food and beverage program will also feature national brands like Starbucks and Yard House. The specially curated established brands will help balance and meet the robust needs of all guests.  

“The new concessions package brings together an all-star list of fantastic dining concepts that includes well-known Houston area and national brands,” said Jim Szczesniak, Chief Operations Officer for Houston Airports. “Houston Airports is relentless in our quest to make our passengers happy. I am confident these new concessions will elevate the already incredible experience guests of Hobby Airport have come to expect from the first and only 5-Star airport in North America.”  

 The 10-year agreement is projected to generate as much as $104 million in revenue for Houston Airports. Areas plans to hire more than 200 people to staff 10 concession locations on both sides of the TSA Security area.  

The new lineup reflects the ambitious goal of Houston Airports to offer brands that meet the guiding principles of its concessions vision for Hobby Airport:  

  • Achieve exceptional customer service and offer a five-star experience  

  • Offer greater variety and quality for passengers   

  • Increase opportunities for local operators  

  • Encourage innovative, unique and exciting concepts   

  • Showcase Houston as a premier, world-class destination   

  • Create a sense of place within the airport   

“We are excited to partner with the City of Houston and Houston Airports to bring a distinctive program that complements the city’s culinary virtues and ethnic diversity,” said Carlos Bernal, CEO of Areas. “Travelers to William P. Hobby Airport will be delighted by an exceptional lineup of concepts, which represent the essence of the city’s greatness.” 

Areas is responsible for one of two food and beverage concession contracts at Hobby Airport. In January 2023 Houston City Council gave final approval to LaTrelles Galley, LP for a 10-year agreement projected to generate as much as $74 million in revenue for Houston Airports.  

READ MORE | LaTrelle’s Management to bring 10 new restaurants to Hobby Airport.   

Areas will begin transitioning into the concessions program at Hobby Airport later this year, with all 10 concepts open by business by November 2024.   

“This pair of concession contracts align with the innovation and excitement pulsing through Hobby Airport,” said Francisco Cuellar, Chief Commercial Development Officer for Houston Airports. “This next decade will invite travelers to reconsider what airport dining can be while allowing Houston Airports to hold firm to the truth that together “Houston-friendly” hospitality, incredible food and satisfying drinks make air travel so much better.”  

RELATED | Travelers thankful for next-gen vending machines that sell more than snacks

RELATED | Find the hottest holiday gifts at Houston Airports! Seriously.

RELATED | Hobby Airport among first in the nation to offer Gameway, a premium video game lounge, to travelers