- Kelly Yamanouchi The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Several big concessionaires have been selected to open new restaurants on Concourse E at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The contract awards are subject to Atlanta City Council approval, but the city’s interim chief procurement officer sent notification letters to concessionaires about the companies that will be recommended for the contracts.
The Concourse E restaurant contracts are separate from the ongoing contracting process for new retail shops throughout most of the Atlanta airport. Concourse E is one of two international concourses at the world’s busiest airport.
DNC THS Concourse E LLC was selected for a contract for five restaurant locations on Concourse E. Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services operates other restaurants at Hartsfield-Jackson. Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Delaware North also has operations at SunTrust Park and at airports, stadiums and national parks around the country.
Atlanta-based Hojeij Branded Foods was chosen for a contract for four restaurant locations on Concourse E. Hojeij already operates restaurants on Concourses E and A.
Georgia Hospitality Partners LLC, a firm associated with Atlanta-based Concessions International, was selected for a contract for a single restaurant on Concourse E. It’s yet to be seen what restaurant brands the concessionaires plan to open.
People and entities linked to Hojeij Branded Foods gave $66,450 to top candidates for mayor through Nov. 1, and those linked to Concessions International gave $29,700, according to an AJC analysis.
But not all of those that contributed to candidates or are close to the mayor won a contract.
Pot Likker Creations, a joint venture of Jackmont Hospitality and Global Concessions that operates the well-known upscale restaurant One Flew South on Concourse E, did not win a contract. One Flew South has been named a James Beard award finalist and made lists for the best airport restaurants in the country.
Jackmont’s Daniel Halpern was part of a host committee for a January fundraiser to raise money for Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has been endorsed by Reed. Halpern was also a co-chairman of Reed’s 2009 campaign for mayor. People linked with Global Concessions contributed at least $8,600 to candidates for mayor.
The city said it is canceling the contracting process for one other single restaurant location on Concourse E, after all three companies competing for the contract were deemed non-responsive and disqualified because of missing or incomplete forms in their proposals.
Airport officials said they expect to seek city council approval for the Concourse E award recommendations as soon as possible, and will rebid the non-responsive RFP immediately.
UNITE HERE, a union that represents some concessionaires’ workers, said if the city awards a contract to Delaware North — which is unionized — the city of Atlanta “would be making substantial progress in creating an airport where workers have better wages, affordable health benefits and can support their families with their airport job.”
Atlanta City Council members have raised questions about extensions of contracts for the current Concourse E restaurants, while the contracting process for new restaurants has taken more than a year and a half.
Some of the companies whose contracts were extended for their restaurants on Concourse E — Hojeij, Jackmont, Global Concessions and McDonald’s franchise owner Goodrum Enterprises — have strong ties to the mayor.