FAB Awards 2018:
The best of the best

We revisit the 2018 FAB Awards in words, images and video on what proved to be an emotional and memorable occasion.

Recognising excellence and achievement: The FAB 2018 winners.

Airport Food & Beverage Offer of the Year

Winner

  • Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Toronto Pearson International Airport


  • Regional winner (Europe): Copenhagen Airport
  • Regional winner (Asia Pacific): Changi Airport Group, The Language of Food, Changi Airport
  • Regional winner (Middle East, Africa & India): HMSHost International, Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru
  • Regional winner (Americas): Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Toronto Pearson International Airport


Shortlist

  • Changi Airport Group, The Language of Food, Changi Airport
  • Copenhagen Airport
  • Finavia, Helsinki Airport
  • Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • HMSHost International, Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru
  • MAG, London Stansted Airport


The Airport Food & Beverage Offer of the Year recognises the overall excellence of an airport’s consumer proposition. The judges looked at factors such as innovation, performance, quality, service, Sense of Place, investment, commitment, and ambition.


A combination of factors led to victory for Toronto Pearson International Airport, according to the judges. First is a belief in F&B not just as a revenue generator but of its capacity to engage and delight the airport’s guests, to enhance the airport’s – and the city’s – reputation.


Investment was also key. Around 80 new restaurants have been added at Toronto Pearson in five years. The result has been an increase in sales per square metre of nearly 60% over four years.


There is also a deep and unrelenting, not token, commitment to local provenance across its vast F&B footprint, the judges said. “The airport has also displayed a profound embracing of the power of digital and a constant focus on the human. It is simply the best programme of staff pride in a company that we have seen. Toronto Pearson has a vision that not only aspires to have the best airport in the world but understands that F&B is a crucial part of that journey.”

Airport Food & Beverage Offer of the Year: Senior Manager, Commercial Operations and Performance Management Suzanne Merrell and Associate Director, Retail & Passenger Development Giovanna Verrilli from Greater Toronto Airports Authority and Toronto Pearson International Airport.

F&B Team Member of the Year

Winner

D’Angelo Charles, SSP America, Phoenix International Airport


Highly commended

  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (SSP and Cousins BBQ), Carolyn ‘Suzie’ Grider, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
  • HMSHost North America, Lily Olson, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • D’Angelo Charles, SSP America, Phoenix International Airport
  • SSP UK, Darren McLean, Manchester Victoria Station
  • TRG Concessions, Fabio Azevedo Dos Reis, London Heathrow Airport


A highlight of the evening was D’Angelo Charles’ emotional reaction to winning F&B Team Member of the Year, as well as the supportive response of other shortlisted candidates. For there were only winners in this category, a fact reflected by the award of a Highly Commended honour for all five on the shortlist.


The category is a first for FAB, and we received many nominations, all of them top class, but five stood out. They are all heroes and heroines in our view. They make their employers proud and their colleagues and consumers happy.

Star of the night: SSP America’s D’Angelo Charles was named F&B Team Member of the Year.

Airport Coffee, Tea, Non-alcoholic Beverage Shop of the Year

Winner

  • HWH Hospitality Investments, Treehouse Juicery, Dubai International Airport


  • Regional winner (Europe): BTA Havalimanlari Yiyecek Icecek Hizmetleri a.ş, Cakes and Bakes, Turkish airports
  • Regional winner (Asia Pacific): HMSHost International, Djournal Coffee, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport
  • Regional winner (Middle East, Africa & India): HWH Hospitality Investments, Treehouse Juicery, Dubai International Airport
  • Regional winner (Americas): SSP America, Café con Leche, Tampa International Airport


Shortlist

  • Areas, Caffè Vergnano, Italy
  • BTA Havalimanlari Yiyecek Icecek Hizmetleri a.ş, Cakes and Bakes, Turkish airports
  • HMSHost International, Djournal Coffee, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport
  • HWH Hospitality Investments, Treehouse Juicery, Dubai International Airport
  • SSP America, Café con Leche, Tampa International Airport
  • SSP Sweden, Barino Coffee, Stockholm Arlanda Airport


This category is always one of the most hotly contested and the class of 2018 was no exception. The judges were unanimous in their decision though, with HWH Hospitality Investments standing out for its combination of crafted, creative, consumer-driven approach and sheer vibrancy.


“It’s contemporary, it’s on-trend and it’s performing way above and beyond the operator’s – and the airport’s – wildest expectations,” said the judges.


Moreover, the Treehouse Juicery concept has unashamedly sought to challenge the status quo, bringing a design, marketing and consumer-driven approach every bit as fresh as the tantalising cold pressed juices it offers.

HWH Hospitality Investments CEO & Co-Founder Talha Al Hashimi and Founding Partner Mustafa Al Hashimi collect the Airport Coffee, Tea, Non-alcoholic Beverage Shop of the Year award for Treehouse Juicery at Dubai International.

Airport ‘Food to Go’ of the Year

Winner

  • High Flying Foods, Phil’s BBQ, San Diego International Airport


  • Regional winner (Europe): SSP Norway, Haven, Oslo Airport
  • Regional winner (Asia Pacific): SSP Asia Pacific, Upper Crust, Brisbane Airport
  • Regional winner (Middle East, Africa & India): Emirates Leisure Retail, Giraffe Stop, Dubai International Airport
  • Regional winner (Americas): High Flying Foods, Phil’s BBQ, San Diego International Airport


Shortlist

  • Emirates Leisure Retail, Giraffe Stop, Dubai International Airport
  • High Flying Foods, Phil’s BBQ, San Diego International Airport
  • HMSHost International, Doner Kebab & Pommes Frites, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
  • HMSHost North America, Shake Shack, Los Angeles International Airport
  • SSP America, Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen and Market, Portland International Airport
  • SSP Asia Pacific, Upper Crust, Brisbane Airport
  • SSP Norway, Haven, Oslo Airport


This category was full of interesting entries. In winning a Highly Commended award, Shake Shack at Los Angeles International Airport was recognised for trending towards US$8 million a year after opening last Summer.

The winner, High Flying Foods’ Phil’s BBQ at San Diego International Airport, offers a great product and has a strong local following. It blends the artisanal and a time-honoured American dining tradition with fast-paced, eat-on-the-go airport concourse cuisine. “The per square metre performance is outstanding, the consumer and critical acclaim constant,” noted the judges.

The Airport ‘Food to Go’ of the Year award was won by High Flying Foods. As the company could not attend the event, the award was collected on its behalf by Minneapolis–St Paul International Airport Assistant Director, Concessions and Business Development Liz Grzechowiak.

Airport F&B Offer of the Year within a Retail/Convenience Store

Winner

  • Crews, Cafe Intermezzo/Buckhead Books, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport


Highly commended

  • Lagardère Travel Retail, Premium Food Gate, Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport


Shortlist

  • Areas, Sibarium, Multiple locations (Spain)
  • Crews, Cafe Intermezzo/Buckhead Books, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Irelands Eye Seafoods, Wrights of Howth, Dublin Airport
  • Lagardère Travel Retail, Premium Food Gate, Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport
  • SSP Norway, Point, Oslo Airport


The award for F&B Offer within a Retail or Convenience store is a new award that recognises the fusion between retail and F&B in many airports around the world, with a growing band of concessionaires expert in both disciplines.


Lagardère Travel Retail’s Premium Food Gate at Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport was highly commended for its superb hybrid concept combining a restaurant section, highly distinctive local dishes and a fine food retail section offering artisanal and fresh food products. The winner, though, is a “one of kind”, according to our judges.


Crews’ Cafe Intermezzo/Buckhead Books at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport offers an ambitious fusion of travel essentials, bookstore and a full-service food & beverage café that stands alone in the industry. The judges were impressed by its strong commercials and, from a consumer perspective, how it offers a nice European café atmosphere.

Going for glory: The FAB Awards 2018 trophies.

Airport Bar of the Year (over US$3 million and Best Bar Overall)

Winner

  • TRG Concessions, The Curator, London Heathrow Airport

Airport Bar of the Year (under US$3 million in sales)

Winner

  • Travel Food Services, The Irish House, Indira Gandhi International Airport


Airport Bar of the Year (Highly commended and regional winners)

  • Highly commended: High Flying Foods, Stone Brewing Co, San Diego International Airport
  • Highly commended: SSP America, LoLo American Kitchen & Craft Bar, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • Regional winner (Europe): TRG Concessions, The Curator, London Heathrow Airport
  • Regional winner (Asia Pacific): Travel Food Services, The Irish House, Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • Regional winner (Americas): High Flying Foods, Stone Brewing Co, San Diego International Airport


Shortlist

  • Areas, Rock & Reilly’s, Los Angeles International Airport
  • Dallas Cowboys Club, Dallas Fort Worth Airport
  • High Flying Foods, Stone Brewing Co, San Diego International Airport
  • Lagardère Travel Retail, Brezel Meister, Vienna Airport
  • Marqette, Dublin Airport
  • SSP America, LoLo American Kitchen & Craft Bar, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • SSP UK, The Factory, Birmingham Airport
  • Travel Food Services, The Irish House, Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • TRG Concessions, The Curator, London Heathrow Airport
  • TRG Concessions, The Smithfield, London Luton Airport
  • WA Airport Hospitality, Loco Poco Bar, Perth Airport


This is always the most difficult category to judge, according to our panel, and this year was no exception. They noted the fusion of bars and restaurants and the overwhelming majority of entries were a combination of both.


The first Highly Commended, SSP America’s LoLo American Kitchen & Craft Bar at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, has been winning rave reviews from critics and consumers; and the judges were impressed by both its numbers and offer.


The second Highly Commended, High Flying Foods’ Stone Brewing Co. at San Diego International Airport, features craft rather than commodity all the way. “In fact everything about it is highly crafted, including a lovely destination merchandise retail add on,” the judges noted.


The winner of Airport Bar of the Year with sales of under US$3 million went to Travel Food Services’ The Irish House at Indira Gandhi International Airport. “It is a great pub that expresses the very roots of what a pub is all about,” explained the judges. “Atmosphere, conviviality, but also modernity, expressed in a 30-foot kinetic art installation symbolising movement and time – in tune with people on the move at the airport.”


In the over US$3 million in sales category, and named best bar overall, the winner was TRG Concessions’ The Curator at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3. The bar and restaurant is “simply doing rip-roaring business”, our judges said.


“It is constantly packed to the rafters yet always retains the look, feel and atmosphere of a real destination bar with a top food offer to match from breakfast to the late late hours.”


The judges particularly liked its focus on staff training, its nicely ‘travelised’ offer and approach and its selection of small-batch artisan cocktails, craft beers and ales. The Curator has experienced a +22% lift in spend per head over last year, a performance that has delighted one of the most demanding airport authorities in our industry.

Airport Bar of the Year (over US$3 million and Best Bar Overall): The winner was TRG Concessions’ The Curator at London Heathrow Airport. TRG Managing Director Nick Ayerst (right) and Commercial Manager Dave Wells (left) are pictured.

Travel Food Services’ The Irish House at Indira Gandhi International Airport was named Airport Bar of the Year (under US$3 million in sales). Travel Food Services’ Chief Operating Officer & Business Head Gaurav Dewan (right) and General Manager – Business Development Darpan Mehta (centre) received the award.

Airport Wine Bar of the Year

Winner

  • CRU Food and Wine Bar, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport


Shortlist

  • CRU Food and Wine Bar, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
  • HMSHost North America, Bubbles, Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  • OTG, Wibar, La Guardia Airport
  • SSP America, Le Grand Comptoir, New York John F. Kennedy International Airport


In this category, the judges were looking for not only a great wine list by the glass and by the bottle, but regional provenance where appropriate, knowledgeable staff and sheer vibrancy in an often overly homogenised F&B sector.


Deciding the winner starts with the wine list, and CRU Food and Wine Bar’s is top class. It offers over 350 selections and 60 premium wines by the glass, and outstanding full bottle range as well as taster pairings and wine flights. “The bar design is superb, from a floor-to-ceiling wine cellar to the label murals that adorn the walls. And there’s a nicely tailored food offer to match,” commented the judges.

CRU Food and Wine Bar at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport was named Airport Wine Bar of the Year. Zenola Campbell, Vice President of Concessions, collected the award.

Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year (over US$5 million)

Winner

  • HMSHost North America, The Hearth by Lynn Crawford, Toronto Pearson International Airport

Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year (under US$5 million and Best Overall)

Winner

  • Emirates Leisure Retail, Kitchen by Mike, Sydney Airport


  • Regional winner (Europe): Casual Dining Group, Oriel Grande Brasserie, London Heathrow Airport
  • Regional winner (Asia Pacific): Emirates Leisure Retail, Kitchen by Mike, Sydney Airport
  • Regional winner (Middle East, Africa & India): Travel Food Services, ID, Chennai International Airport
  • Regional winner (Americas): HMSHost North America, The Hearth by Lynn Crawford, Toronto Pearson International Airport


Shortlist

  • Areas, CPK, Los Angeles International Airport
  • Casual Dining Group, Oriel Grande Brasserie, London Heathrow Airport
  • Delaware North, Three Bears, Perth Airport
  • Emirates Leisure Retail, Kitchen by Mike, Sydney Airport
  • High Flying Foods, Gott’s Roadside, San Francisco International Airport
  • HMSHost North America, The Hearth by Lynn Crawford, Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • OTG, Q, George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail, Hickory, Dallas Fort Worth Airport
  • Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail, Second Bar + Kitchen, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • Pontus in the Air, Stockholm-Arlanda Airport
  • SSP America, 1300 on Fillmore, San Francisco International Airport
  • Travel Food Services, ID, Chennai International Airport


This was our joint most popular category, underlining just how critical a quality casual dining offer is to today’s traveller. Once again we split this by sales, giving awards for restaurants under US$5 million in sales and over US$5 million.


The judges described this category as their “toughest task”. Areas’ California Pizza Kitchen at Los Angeles International Airport won a Highly Commended award for its “off the Richter scale” guest satisfaction scores. The judges noted the “quality of the fare, the focus on friendly and efficient service and the splendid environment”.


The winner of Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year in the over US$5 million sales category went to HMSHost North America’s The Hearth by Lynn Crawford at Toronto Pearson International Airport. “It is a restaurant led by an exuberant personality with a passion and flair that finds voice in a hugely popular offer that has not only boosted the restaurant’s and the chef’s reputation but also that of an already outstandingly foodie airport,” the judges said.


In the under US$5 million sales category, and named best overall, Emirates Leisure Retail’s Kitchen by Mike at Sydney Airport was recognised for its “freshness, local provenance, superb staff, stunning internal design and even more stunning external views”. “It’s a breath of fresh air,” the judges noted. “In fact everything about it from fit-out to food is fresh.”

Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year (over US$5 million): HMSHost North America’s The Hearth by Lynn Crawford at Toronto Pearson International Airport was named winner. HMSHost North America President & CEO Steve Johnson, along with Toronto Pearson’s Giovanna Verrilli and Suzanne Merrell accepted the award.

Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year (under US$5 million and Best Overall): The winner was Emirates Leisure Retail’s Kitchen by Mike at Sydney Airport. Emirates Leisure Retail’s Business Development Director Vipin Singh (centre) collected the award along with Sydney Airport General Manager Retail Glyn Williams (right).

Airport Street Food Offer of the Year

Winner

  • SSP America, Five Borough Food Hall, New York John F. Kennedy International Airport


Highly commended

  • Areas, StrEAT, Ibiza Airport


Shortlist

  • Areas, StrEAT, Ibiza Airport
  • Banh Shop, Dallas Fort Worth Airport
  • HMSHost International, Food Truck Festival, Oslo Airport
  • HMSHost North America, Food & Bounty, Los Angeles International Airport
  • SSP America, Five Borough Food Hall, New York John F. Kennedy International Airport


Street food has been an important local market food phenomenon of recent years, although its very roots are anything but recent. But certainly airports have picked up on the concept’s importance. Can you recreate the cuisines, the atmosphere and the feel of the streets in an airport without appearing pastiche? In the best cases, unquestionably.


For the judges this award was, in boxing parlance, a split decision (in fact at one point split four ways). So they opted for a Highly Commended and an ultimate winner. The Highly Commended went to Areas’ StrEAT at Ibiza Airport – a buzzy, edgy concept in a location known for exactly those qualities.


SSP America’s Five Boroughs Food Hall at New York JFK International Airport was named winner. “We felt this concept got closest to ticking all the boxes of street food come to the airport,” reported the judges. “It captures the city’s eclectic multi-cultural culinary landscape very well, it feels authentic rather than kitsch with the use of authentic vintage vehicles, that offer a delicious range of food experiences and the now important instagrammable experience.”

Airport Street Food Offer of the Year: Pat Murray accepts the award on behalf of SSP America’s Five Borough Food Hall at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Airport Premium Dining Restaurant of the Year

Winner

  • Areas, Kirei, Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport


Shortlist

  • Areas, Kirei, Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport
  • HMSHost North America, Landry’s Seafood, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Dallas Fort Worth Airport


As always the judges ran into some interesting questions of interpretation here. What constitutes upscale v casual? What is premium versus mainstream? The judges decided they wanted to set the bar, or should we say the restaurant, at a refined level and were very particular in their criteria.


All of the finalists are examples of restaurants that have shed all the tired old baggage of the saying ‘it’s ok for airport food’. The judges were unanimous in their choice of winner this time.


Areas’ Kirei at Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport offers “simple but memorable dishes served with artistic flair and great culinary flavour. It is a great downtown concept brought to life for the first time in an airport environment, fusing a world famous cuisine with local ingredients and interpretation.”

Airport Premium Dining Restaurant of the Year was Areas’s Kirei at Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport. Marketing & Business Development Director (Spain & Portugal) Mireia Martí picked up the award.

Airport Food Hall of the Year

Winner

  • Marqette, Dublin Airport


  • Regional winner (Asia Pacific): SSP Hong Kong, East to West, Hong Kong International Airport
  • Regional winner (Americas): Metropolitan Airports Commission, Food Truck Alley, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport


Shortlist

  • HMSHost International, Food Market Lounge 1, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
  • HMSHost North America, 1897 Market, Charlotte Douglas International
  • Metropolitan Airports Commission, Food Truck Alley, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • Marqette, Dublin Airport
  • OTG, Global Bazaar, Newark Liberty International Airport
  • SSP Hong Kong, East to West, Hong Kong International Airport
  • Tastes on the Fly, Napa Farms Market, San Francisco International Airport


Very much mainstay of many airports’ F&B passenger offers; good food halls provide a wide variety of food for all ages, tastes and budgets, fast and with fair value. For the second year running, Michael JF Wright Hospitality Group’s Marqette at Dublin Airport stood out from the crowd.


The judges were impressed by a range of factors: provenance, freshness, staff training, diversity of offer through the day and evening, and exceptional food and exceptional service, making it a worthy winner.

Marqette General Manager Michael Thornton collects the Airport Food Hall of the Year award for Marqette at Dublin Airport.

New Food & Beverage Concept of the Year

Winner

  • Travel Food Services, Frshly, Chennai International Airport


  • Regional winner (Europe): SSP France, Bellota-Bellota, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
  • Regional winner (Asia Pacific): Changi Airport Group, The Most Authentic Japanese Culinary Experience in An Airport Outside Japan, Changi Airport
  • Regional winner (Americas): Tastes on the Fly, Samovar Tea Lounge & Bar, San Francisco International Airport
  • Regional winner (Middle East, Africa & India): Travel Food Services, Frshly, Chennai International Airport


Shortlist

  • Air, Zürich Airport
  • Changi Airport Group, The Most Authentic Japanese Culinary Experience in An Airport Outside Japan, Changi Airport
  • Delaware North, Three Bears, Perth Airport
  • HMSHost International, Food Truck Festival, Oslo Airport
  • HWH Hospitality Investments, Treehouse Juicery, Dubai International Airport
  • SSP America, 1300 on Fillmore, San Francisco International Airport
  • SSP America, LoLo American Kitchen & Craft Bar, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • SSP France, Bellota-Bellota, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
  • Tastes on the Fly, Samovar Tea Lounge & Bar, San Francisco International Airport
  • Travel Food Services, Frshly, Chennai International Airport


A new award for 2018, this category places the emphasis firmly on the lifeblood of any industry or business – innovation. The judges were delighted with the number, breadth and creativity of the entries.


The winner, Travel Food Services’ Frshly at Chennai International Airport, is perfectly tailored to the consumer needs of a particular airport. “Imagine finding your four favourite restaurants in an airport, selecting your choice of meal, placing the order and receiving a hot meal. How long do you reckon it will take? The answer is 90 seconds,” said our judges.

Travel Food Services’ Gaurav Dewan and Darpan Mehta returned to the stage to collect the New Food & Beverage Concept of the Year award for Frshly at Chennai International Airport.

F&B Marketing & Promotions Campaign of the Year

Winner

  • Finavia, #LifeInhel, Helsinki Airport


Shortlist

  • Autogrill, Le Petit Chef, Geneva Airport
  • Finavia Helsinki Airport, #LifeInhel, Helsinki Airport
  • Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Grey Goose Toronto Pearson Holiday Experience, Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • HMSHost North America, Share Your Love, Multiple locations
  • Lagardère Travel Retail, SO! COFFEE barista contest, Multiple locations
  • Metropolitan Airports Commission, World Record Donut Stacking Attempt, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • OTG, Tsukiji Fishroom, Newark Liberty International Airport


There have been some fantastically high-profile campaigns over the past 12 months, using a combination of traditional marketing and social media. Our judges had the privilege of viewing them close up.


Autogrill’s Le Petit Chef campaign at Geneva Airport was given a Highly commended award. “It is simply one of the loveliest, most creative marketing campaign gems that it has been our privilege to view,” noted the judges. “Its use of animation would not be unbefitting Pixar Studios.”


But there was no way Finavia’s #LifeInHel campaign at Helsinki Airport could not be named winner. “In terms of ambition it was daring,” commented the judges. “In terms of innovation it was brilliant. In terms of execution it was outstanding and in terms of reach, it was simply extraordinary. This was a campaign that brought not only an airport but an airport’s F&B offer right into the homes of millions of the airport’s most desired consumers.”

Finavia’s brilliant #LifeInHel campaign at Helsinki Airport won in the F&B Marketing & Promotions Campaign of the Year category. Finavia Vice President Commercial Services Elena Stenholm collected the award.

Customer Service Initiative of the Year

Winner

  • Incheon International Airport Corporation, Smart Service


Shortlist

  • Finavia, CX Academy, Helsinki Airport
  • HMSHost North America, HMSHost Guest Experience
  • Incheon International Airport Corporation, Smart Service, Incheon International Airport
  • OTG, Digital Amenities, Newark Liberty International Airport and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • SSP America, The Passion Tour, Multiple locations


Two Highly Commended awards were made in this category. The first went to OTG’s Digital Amenities at Newark Liberty International and Houston George Bush Intercontinental. It brilliantly integrates airline and concessionaire technology, according to the judges, “allowing travellers by a simple scan of their boarding pass to unlock a full set of tools making their travel more enlightened and more fun”.


The second Highly Commended went to SSP America’s The Passion Tour (in multiple locations). “It is a hugely ambitious internal programme to create a world-class culture that would unite employees across a continent, around a world-class customer service philosophy,” the judges said.


But we had a clear winner, Smart Service at Incheon International Airport. “It is an almost breathtakingly all-compassing multiple use of state-of-the-art technologies across customer services to help the airport’s customers enjoy airport services, including faster, more convenient and better food & beverages services,” our judges stated.


“As the Fourth Industrial Revolution has emerged, this company has clearly been paying close attention to the importance of advanced IT, including robots, artificial intelligence and big data to airport operations.”

Incheon International Airport Corporation’s Smart Service was the winner in the Customer Service Initiative of the Year category. Sunguk Ko (centre), Manager of the F&B Services Team, picked up the award with Eunyoung Cho, Assistant Manager Food & Beverage Services Team.

#AiroftheDog Great Airport Cocktail Award, sponsored by Copper Dog

Winner

  • Dominic Hawksworth


Shortlist

  • A Peek Under Me Kilt: Dave McKenna, Marqette, Dublin Airport
  • Pangeia, Bleriot: Ricardo Paulon, Retail Services Brasil, São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport
  • Red Sky at Night: Dominic Hawksworth, TRG Concessions


In association with Speyside blended malt whiskey Copper Dog, we asked the bartenders and mixologists of this industry to come up with an original cocktail that in name, taste and suitability captured the unique world of airports. It had to involve Copper Dog of course! And reflecting both the fun of the concept and the channel it targeted, for the second year running we called it #AiroftheDog Great Airport Cocktail competition.


We had a blitz of social media activity, plenty of entries and plenty of fun. The three finalists participated in a grand shake-off in London. The quality of the entries and their exponents left our judges both shaken and stirred, but TRG Concessions’ Dominic Hawksworth ultimately prevailed with his ‘Red Sky at Night’ cocktail.

Red Sky at Night: Dominic Hawksworth (centre) of TRG Concessions picked up the #AiroftheDog Great Airport Cocktail Award, sponsored by Copper Dog. Copper Dog UK Country Manager Calum Lawrie presented the award.

Individual Food & Beverage Offer of the Year in a Railway Station

Winner

  • Mango Tree Co, Mango Tree Kitchen, Japan


Shortlist

  • Areas, COMO (Spain), Barcelona Sants Station, Spain
  • Areas, Super Wild Coffee, Multiple locations, France
  • Mango Tree Japan Co; Ltd, Mango Tree Kitchen Brand, Multiple locations, Japan
  • Network Rail, Three Guineas, Reading Station, UK
  • SSP UK, Knead – Paul Hollywood, Euston Station, UK


FAB is principally about airports but railway station F&B embraces many of the same players, dynamics and of course consumers – people on the move. We focused here on the best single outlet or brand in a railway station.


They are all very good offers and the judges decided to make one Highly Commended award to Areas’ COMO (Spain) at Barcelona Sants Station. It serves over 1,000 meals a day in the country’s biggest railway station, serving large numbers via a combination of takeaway and traditional service, contemporary design and consistently excellent food.


But the judges were clear on Mango Tree Japan’s Mango Tree Kitchen Brand being the winner. They called it one of the most impressive entries of FAB 2018, in fact. “It takes a particular national cuisine into another country, turns it into a high-class grab and go concept for seven very high volume stations and is generating great consumer feedback and great returns, with the highest earning outlet spawning sales of US$4,700 per square metre per month,” they said.

Trevor MacKenzie, Managing Partner at Mango Tree & COCA Restaurants Worldwide, collected the Individual Food & Beverage Offer of the Year in a Railway Station award for Mango Tree Co’s Mango Tree Kitchen in Japan.

Motorway Services F&B Offer of the Year

Winner

  • Autogrill, Villoresi Est, Milan


Shortlist

  • Areas, ATable!, Multiple locations
  • Autogrill, Bistrot Cantagallo, Cantagallo
  • Autogrill, Villoresi Est, Milan
  • HMSHost North America, Grover Cleveland Service Plaza – New Jersey Turnpike


This award recognises innovation and the improving quality of motorway/interstate service F&B offers which are used by billions of motorists around the world.


These essential travel service locations are often (and sometimes deservedly) much maligned but in recent years overall quality on offer to motorists has become more aligned to downtown F&B and retail than ever before – with a handful of services arguably becoming destinations in their own right.


Two Highly Commended awards were made. Our judges described Areas’ ATable! as a striking new concept so far rolled out in seven locations. It covers the slow-food segment and invites people to enjoy a real meal, with a diverse and appealing selection. HMSHost North America’s Grover Cleveland Service Plaza – New Jersey Turnpike was reported in national media as: “A rest stop you wouldn't mind pulling over for”; “a model for future areas”; and “just super pretty.”


The judges picked Autogrill’s Villoresi Est in Milan as the winner because “it not only represented a vibrant, highly successful commercial concept but one earmarked as a crucial step in the company’s sustainability efforts”.


The service area embodies several innovative, expert solutions that optimise energy consumption and resource use while safeguarding nature and the environment. “Moreover, the food experience leaves the stereotypes of mediocre motorway services offers in its wake,” our judges said.

The Motorway Services F&B Offer of the Year award was won by Autogrill for Villoresi Est in Milan.

‘La spirito de vojaĝado’ – ‘The spirit of travel’

Winner

  • Empanaditas Viajeras, La Bonbonniere, Jorge Chávez International Airport


Shortlist

  • Empanaditas Viajeras, La Bonbonniere, Jorge Chávez International Airport, Peru
  • Huevos de Pollo Ahumado, TRG Concessions, UK


This award focuses on people, product and travel. We wanted a food concept that encapsulated the universal notion of ‘the spirit of travel’. What better way to express that notion than in the words of the universal language, Esperanto. ‘La spirito de vojaĝado’ – the spirit of travel, was a new award in 2017 and repeated in 2018.


We asked the industry’s chefs to come up with an original dish that captured that concept. Again it had to not just be themed to the channel but also suitable for serving in it.


Huevos de Pollo Ahumado was very good, but Empanaditas Viajeras was simply brilliant, according to the judges. The inspiration for the creation stemmed from the journey through a vast country. The ‘empanada’ at the heart of the dish represents the spirit of the traveller – an easy food to go that has travelled the land itself, changing in every place you find it. And in this dish it finds a thrilling interpretation.

The winner of ‘La spirito de vojaĝado’ – ‘The spirit of travel’ – was ‘Empanaditas Viajeras’, La Bonbonniere, Jorge Chávez International Airport. Director of Development Alejandro Serra Sarria and Director of Retail Services Coque Ossio received the award.

Airport Food & Beverage Offer Best Reflecting Sense of Place

Winner

  • Changi Airport Group, Food for the Generations


  • Regional winner (Europe): SSP Finland, Rovaniemi Café, Rovaniemi Airport
  • Regional winner (Asia Pacific): Changi Airport Group, Food for the Generations
  • Regional winner (Middle East, Africa & India): Travel Food Services, Travel Club, Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
  • Regional winner (Americas): HMSHost North America, Whisky River, Charlotte Douglas International Airport


Shortlist

  • Areas, Exploring the World + Yandiola, Bilbao Airport
  • Autogrill, Bistrot, Multiple locations
  • Changi Airport Group, Food for the Generations, Singapore Changi Airport
  • Copenhagen Airport, A Sense of Copenhagen
  • Emirates Leisure Retail, The Tiger Den, Changi Airport
  • Finavia, Helsinki Airport
  • HMSHost North America, Whisky River, Charlotte Douglas International Airport
  • Lagardère Travel Retail, Ísey Skyr Bar, Keflavik International Airport
  • Marqette, Dublin Airport
  • Metropolitan Airports Commission, Stone Arch, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • OTG, Ember, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • SSP Finland, Rovaniemi Café, Rovaniemi Airport
  • Travel Food Services, Travel Club, Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport


Airport F&B Best Reflecting Sense of Place was introduced in 2013 and is the only one of its kind in the industry. It recognises a concept that we believe is of fundamental importance for our sector.


In our view any airport – whatever its size – must reflect the history & heritage, tastes & traditions, culture & cuisine of a country, a city or a region. That means its Sense of Place and of course Sense of Taste.


Once again we received a huge number of entries in this category, which underlines its importance.


The judges had an animated debate on this award and probably reflected the industry in being divided on what actually constitutes Sense of Place. Ultimately though, they decided that Changi Airport Group’s Food for the Generations at Singapore Changi Airport brilliantly captured heritage, both foodie and cultural, in an atmospheric but also commercially vibrant manner.

Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd Manager Seah Kay Siong collected the Airport Food & Beverage Offer Best Reflecting Sense of Place award for the company’s Food for the Generations.

Outstanding Food & Beverage Design of the Year

Winner

  • SSP Norway, Norgesglasset, Oslo Airport


  • Regional winner (Europe): SSP Norway, Norgesglasset, Oslo Airport
  • Regional winner (Asia Pacific): SPC, Incheon International Airport Terminal 2
  • Regional winner (Americas): OTG, Global Bazaar, Newark Liberty International Airport


Shortlist

  • OTG, Global Bazaar, Newark Liberty International Airport
  • OTG, Q, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • Retail Services Brasil, La Bonbonniere Paulista, São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport
  • SPC, Incheon International Airport Terminal 2
  • SSP Norway, Norgesglasset, Oslo Airport
  • Tastes on the Fly, Samovar Tea Lounge & Bar, San Francisco International Airport
  • TRG Concessions, The Smithfield, London Luton Airport


This award is new for 2018 and recognises the critical role that design plays in creating ambience and customer experience. We received many outstanding nominations, and SSP Norway’s Norgesglasset at Oslo Airport impressed the most. “It is simply a stunning example of inspiration, creativity and execution, the sort of design than in itself creates a customer experience,” said the judges. “Instagrammable experience? You bet!”


The design pays homage to and draws inspiration from a local icon, not in any kitsch way but with an innate intellectualism and creativity that marks great design, the judges noted.

SSP Norway won Outstanding Food & Beverage Design of the Year for Norgesglasset in Oslo Airport.

The FAB Airport Food & Beverage Transformation Award

Winner

  • Manchester Airport Group for London Stansted Airport


This award focuses on transformation, and by transformation we mean a fundamental, profound change of a travel location’s F&B offer in an effort not only to drive revenues but to alter consumer perceptions of that airport or station through its dining offer.

Stansted has worked assiduously and creatively to reshape its offer, its concepts; its mix. It offers world exclusive concepts across premium dining, coffee, Champagne and other sectors.


“It is superbly travelised, everything designed with the passenger and their connectivity needs in mind and some outstanding environments,” commented the judges. “And all this investment, part of an ongoing programme, has paid off, with fantastically encouraging like for like commercial comparisons and a surge in the airport’s ASQ ratings.”

The London Stansted Airport retail team of Richard Cross, Jo Mountford and Ben Green collected this accolade on the evening.

The FAB Wow Award

Winner

  • OTG, Q, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport


At FAB we want to champion excellence and innovation. But we also want to champion operations and concepts that make us simply go ‘wow’ and more importantly that make the travelling public go ‘wow’. And in doing due diligence for other categories the judges kept coming back to the X factor, the wow factor of OTG’s Q at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The unique design elements highlight the culture and a trademark cuisine of a proud state.

OTG Director Business Development Samantha Blatstein (centre) and United Airlines Senior Program Manager Carolyn Harris accept the FAB Wow Award.

The FAB Thought Leadership Award

Winner

  • Autogrill, Bistrot


FAB recognises not only commercial leadership but thought leadership. Autogrill is driving the industry towards a better place by the sheer quality of its thinking, the integrity of its principles and the quality of the execution.


Bistrot is a global concept, combining local quality and global trends. It has an unrelenting focus on provenance, of terroir, of ‘made here’; a unique blend of local consumption habits paired to global trending products.


It’s a thrilling concept that was indeed the most intellectually stimulating of any entry received for FAB 2018, the judges said.

Autogrill also won in The FAB Thought Leadership Award category, for its Bistrot concept.

The FAB Environmental Initiative Award

Winner

  • HMSHost International, Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru


The Environmental Initiative Award is new this year, reflecting industry consensus that more must be done in regards to sustainability and CSR.


Some companies are leading the way. HMSHost International banned all plastics from its operations at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru concerning disposables. Instead it uses natural products made from corn, starch and wood. Plastic bags are replaced with bags made from recycled paper. F&B operations are completely carton/cardboard free.


And whereas HMSHost used to throw away left-over coffee grounds as regular waste, it realised that they are ideal fertilisers for plants and gardens. The leftover coffee grounds are now offers to passengers as free takeaways.


As the Chinese saying goes, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. And collectively these measures add up to a giant step, one that should be applauded by our industry.

The FAB Environmental Initiative Award was won by HMSHost International, Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru. HMSHost International Senior Vice President, Development Jan Willem Hilbron and HMSHost International CEO Walter Seib picked up the award.


The Moodie Davitt e-Zine | Issue 243 | 16 July 2018