Indianapolis airport restaurants see revenue climb

Restaurants at Indianapolis International Airport are pulling in more of the green stuff.

Food sales accounted for nearly two-thirds of $40 million in concession sales at the airport last year. Sales increased more than 10 percent for many of the top earners, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Champps Americana had the highest sales at $3.2 million, followed by local fare Harry & Izzy's with $2.9 million and Wolfgang Puck with $2.5 million. Restaurants at the Indianapolis airport are prevented from charging more than at their non-airport locations.

Airport executive director Mario Rodriguez said it's integral to have local restaurants. Seven of the airport's 19 food vendors are locally owned.

"Our goal, and you're going to see more of this in the future, is that when you are in Indianapolis you have a sense of place, you know where you are," Rodriguez said.

Brian Shapiro, owner of Shapiro's Delicatessen, said his airport restaurant sells about 10 percent as many sandwiches as its downtown Indianapolis location. But it's profitable, and he said it helps to have passengers see it in the airport.

"It definitely pays off," he said. "I've had people come downtown because they said they found out about me at the airport and wanted to try some of the other things we have on the full menu."

A survey from Airports Council International-North America said travelers spent $533 million on food and drink at U.S. airports in 2012.

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