JEDCO opens major F&B tender with blended retail

By Luke Barras-hill |

The F&B tender, one of the largest in the airport’s history, is aiming to coax interest from prominent global and local players who will compete to secure prime leasing space to demonstrate their culinary expertise.

Commercial operators are being invited to lodge bids in a significant food & beverage tender featuring a hybrid retailing opportunity at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA), Jeddah Airports Company (JEDCO KSA) has announced today (19 May).

At stake is the chance to bring modern, trend-setting cuisine and world-class culinary service to KAIA’s 31m-plus passenger base through competitive bidding for concessions spanning almost 4,000sq m of terminal space.

The seven-year Terminal One package covers 3,200sqm over three lots and contains 24 outlets across International and Domestic departures, while the five-year (with potential two-year extension) North Terminal package totals approximately 300sq m.

Part of the mix will be the creation of two premium F&B units integrated with the duty free space in a move away from conventionally segregated duty free and F&B concepts.

Each area will total 400sq m of front of house space with approximately 200sq m at back of house with a preparation area, as KAIA seeks to appoint high-end, premium brands or concepts to enhance the overall duty free zone.

End of July closing date for submissions

Paul Neeson, Vice President Commercial, KAIA.

For the broader F&B leasing, KAIA is seeking to appoint multiple concessionaires in the bidding round, TRBusiness can confirm, with local and global operators encouraged to compete for more than one package.

The closing date for submissions is 31 July 2023, with final negotiations and offer(s) due at the end of September.

“This is a critically important project for KAIA, building on the initial units that were present from the Terminal 1 opening and a complete refresh of the North Terminal to reflect the changed passenger profile in the North Terminal,” Paul Neeson, Vice President of Commercial, JEDCO told TRBusiness.

“This is a major opportunity to review what the customer wants and needs, given four years of passenger throughput and feedback. We are seeking a much wider and diverse range of options that match the equally diverse passenger profile at KAIA.”

In a statement, the landlord bills the F&B bidding as a marked step towards further improving the customer experience at the airport to position it as one of the leading hubs in the region and beyond.

To achieve this, it is striving to deliver a fusion of tempting F&B offerings that ‘go beyond traditional airport fare’ to cater to the modern and diverse needs and preferences of its eclectic passenger mix.

Introducing concepts that align with travellers’ demands for unique, authentic and memorable dining experiences in a changing landscape is a major objective, says JEDCO.

A culinary voyage: Introducing new food trends that align with travellers’ demands for unique and authentic dining experiences in a changing landscape is a major objective for JEDCO in the bidding round.

From cuisines marrying local and international flavours to healthy and sustainable dining, initiatives will focus on quality, freshness and delivering exceptional customer service and ambiance – be it grab-and-go options or more formal sit-down occasions.

There are currently multiple F&B occupancies at KAIA’s terminals, with no master concessionaire.

Duty free RFP: High interest from global operators

The F&B tender, which dovetails with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030, follows swiftly on from KAIA’s bumper duty free RFP released last month.

To date, KAIA has received a healthy response to the leasing exercise that launched on 18 April, including engagement among the top 15 global travel retailers, gathers TRBusiness.

Each travel retail operator is said to have been impressed with the commercial infrastructure and the airport’s and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s potential to grow its global aviation standing.

As reported at the time the duty free tender unveiled, KAIA noted a plan to launch bidding for speciality retail concessions, though it is understood that process is yet to be finalised before the RFP arrives to market.

Last year, KAIA served 31m passengers last year and is eyeing 50 million pax in 2023.

It remains a fulcrum for passenger growth and a gateway for Muslim pilgrims flocking to holy sites in Mecca and Medina each year, in addition to handling global travellers.

Information and RFP requests should be made to:

Ilse Ruffer-Klar

[email protected]

+966 55 482 4041

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