Press Releases

January 30, 2020

HMSHost Announces Strategy to Bring New, Local Coffee Options to Airports

Move is driven by increased consumer interest in local, sustainable and customized options in popular coffee category

BETHESDA, Md. (January 30, 2020) – Global restaurateur HMSHost is evolving its brand portfolio strategy and will begin to operate new coffee offerings in airports around the country.

Coffee continues an impressive trajectory as one of the fastest growing beverage categories. After years of exceptional growth in local and regional brands across all other restaurant categories, including casual dining and quick-service restaurants, HMSHost recognized the need to expand this approach in its coffee brands to unleash the growth potential in the category. As such, HMSHost will be changing its partnership with Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX).

With innovation as a driving influence, HMSHost has its sights set on working with emerging coffee brands to bring an expansive variety and new, creative store formats to airports. Imagine coffee shops during the day that are designed to transition to lively bars in the evening with great music entertainment; concepts that blend seamlessly with retail and newsstand experiences for the utmost in traveler convenience; innovative mobile carts that move from gate-to-gate; and, coffee shops built for speed through highly efficient designs that eliminate lines, streamline menus and use the latest technologies to facilitate fast ordering and production. And, don’t forget the coffee. Consumers desire sustainable, traceable coffee that tastes delicious and supports growers and local economies.

“It’s an exciting time for HMSHost, and we have the opportunity to continue our expansion of local food flavors,” said HMSHost President & CEO Steve Johnson. “We have had great success in bringing regional chefs and popular city dining favorites to airports and we’re ready to do the same with the coffee category. While we have, and will continue, a long partnership with Starbucks, we’re continuing to innovate in this space and focus on serving consumer and airport partner needs.”

HMSHost has had tremendous success with bringing the ‘best of the city’ restaurants and bars into the more than 120 airports where we operate around the globe. Our award-winning and popular concepts include Publican Tavern in Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Hugo’s Cocina in Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Border Grill in Los Angeles International Airport, Trade in Boston Logan International Airport, and Emeril’s Table in the newly opened Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. On January 27, HMSHost announced a new 10-year contract valued at approximately $60 million awarded by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority that will bring Florida-based Southern Grounds coffee house to Jacksonville International Airport this fall. Southern Grounds prides itself on creating a community around great food and drink, and soon travellers will be able to experience this chef-driven coffee house in Concourse A.

For a complete list of HMSHost-operated locations, visit the HMSHost location finder map.

HMSHost Leading the Industry
HMSHost is recognized by the industry as the top provider of travel dining with awards such as Restaurateur with the Highest Regard Customer Service, as well as Best Brand Restaurateur for Shake Shack by Airport Experience News. USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards gave first place honors to both of HMSHost’s Whisky River locations at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. HMSHost is a leader in sustainability practices which includes its award-winning food donation program, as well as plans to eliminate conventional plastic straw use by 2020. The company also creates original award-winning events and campaigns including Airport Restaurant MonthChannel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest, 1,000 Acts of Kindness, and Eat Well. Travel Further. 

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and at more than 80 travel plazas in North America. The company has annual sales of more than $3.5 billion and employs approximately 41,000 associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of €4.7 billion in 2018, the group operates in 31 countries and employs over 60,000 people. It manages more than 4,000 stores in more than 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit for more information and connect with HMSHost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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