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UPDATE: Shake Shack among slew of new restaurants set to land at Indianapolis airport

March 13, 2019
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A Shake Shack fast casual restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C. (AP photo)

It’s official: burger chain Shake Shack plans to set up shop in Indianapolis as part of a sweeping update that will bring 12 new food and beverage vendors to Indianapolis International Airport.

Shake Shack is among a group of local and national restaurants and food vendors Indianapolis International Airport has lined up as part of its concessions refresh program. 

The Indianapolis Airport Authority is scheduled to vote on the contracts for 19 separate food and vendor spots at its meeting Friday. Most of the contracts set for approval involve vendors who don’t currently operate at the airport.

In addition to Shake Shack, the other newcomers include Sun King Brewery, Bento Sushi, Bub’s Burgers, Hot Box Pizza, a farmer’s market with Indiana-produced items, an Indiana Pacers Courtside Club restaurant, Circle City Beer Garden, Social Cantina, Tinker Coffee, Stacked Pickle and Ben’s Soft Pretzels. 

Returning concessionaires include Harry & Izzy’s and Starbucks.

Shake Shack has been recruiting Indianapolis managers via the website LinkedIn since January, but as recently as last week the New York City-based chain declined to comment on its plans for the Indianapolis-area market. 

This will be the second wave of concession contracts the airport's board has considered in recent months. In January, the board approved contracts for 19 retail outlets to fill 23 spaces at the terminal.

Airport officials declined to comment on the restaurant contracts in advance of Friday’s meeting. And because some of the airport’s retail spaces are being reconfigured, it’s difficult to determine which existing businesses the newcomers will displace.

Airport officials are recommending that the board approve the contracts. All are with third-party operators who will run the concession locations.

HMSHost, part of Italy-based Autogrill S.p.A., would operate Shake Shack in a 745-square-foot space in Concourse B.

The airport estimates it would earn $3.47 million over the course of the 10-year lease. HMSHost would pay the airport either $158,572 in annual rent or a percentage of Shake Shack’s sales, whichever is higher. Sales percentages would be 13 percent of annual sales up to $2.75 million, and 15 percent of sales above that threshold.

HMSHost is also being considered for two other concessions contracts.

Under one contract, HMSHost would fill a total of 804 square feet with two locations for Goshen-based Ben’s Soft Pretzels—one in Concourse A and one in Concourse B.

The airport estimates it would earn $1.86 million from the 10-year contract. HMSHost would pay the airport either $121,009 in annual rent or a percentage of Ben’s sales, whichever is higher. Sales percentages would be 12 percent of annual sales up to $1 million, and 15 percent of sales above that threshold.  

The third HMSHost contract would fill six locations—11,202 square feet total—with three standalone Starbucks locations, a combination Starbucks/Circle City News and Convenience store, the Indiana Pacers Courtside Club restaurant and Circle City Beer Garden.

Starbucks would have one standalone location each in concourses A and B, and Civic Plaza. The Starbucks/retail store location would be in the baggage claim area. The Pacers-themed restaurant, whose menu would feature Pacers players’ favorite dishes, would be in Civic Plaza. The location of Circle City Beer Garden, which would offer Indiana-made craft beers and tapas/appetizers from Indianapolis-based Smoking Goose Meatery, is not listed in the airport paperwork.

The airport estimates it would earn $10 million from the 10-year contract. HMSHost would pay $717,267 in annual rent or 11 percent of food and alcohol sales from the vendors, whichever is higher.

The contract for the Harry & Izzy’s spot would see the Indianapolis-based restaurant expand its current 3,450-square-foot space in Concourse A to 5,147 square feet, expanding its bar and seating areas and adding a cocktail sauce mixing station and a grab-and-go window.

The Harry & Izzy’s contract would be awarded to Ashburn, Virginia-based SSP America, which would pay the airport $582,646 in annual rent or 16 percent of food and alcohol sales, whichever is higher. The airport estimates it would earn $12.27 million over the course of the 10-year contract.

SSP America is also up for a second contract to fill five additional spots—8,863 square feet in all—with Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewery, an Indiana-focused farmer’s market, Toronto-based Bento Sushi, Carmel-based Bub’s Burgers and Indianapolis-based Hot Box Pizza.

Sun King and The Farmer’s Market would be in Concourse B. Bento Sushi and Bub’s Burgers would be side by side in Concourse A, and Hot Box would be in Civic Plaza.

The airport estimates it would earn $12.25 million from the 10-year contract. SSP America would pay $928,428 in annual rent or 13 percent of vendors’ food and alcohol sales, whichever is higher.

Woodson Terrace, Missouri-based OHM Concession Group would fill three locations—5,683 square feet total—with Indianapolis-based Tinker Coffee and Stacked Pickle; and Bloomington-based Social Cantina.

Tinker Coffee would have a standalone spot in Concourse B, and it would also have a presence in Social Cantina’s sit-down restaurant in Concourse A. Stacked Pickle would also operate in Concourse A.

The airport estimates it would earn $8.21 million from the 10-year contract. OHM would pay the airport $401,451 in annual rent; or 13 percent of the vendors’ food sales and 15 percent of alcohol sales, whichever is higher.

 

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