Press Releases

October 25, 2016

HMSHost Continues to Innovate Through Expansion of Mobile Dining Concepts

Mobile food trucks, carts, and even bicycles create a seamless dining experience for travelers

HMSHost’s Mobile Ala Cart, Chicago O’Hare’s first mobile food cart that delivers select food and beverages to travelers at their gates.

BETHESDA, MD — Mobile food concepts are sweeping the nation, now even in travel venues, and global restaurateur HMSHost is at the forefront, leading the move toward delivering speed and convenience to travelers by bringing dining options right to them. HMSHost has introduced mobile snack carts, beer carts, food trucks, and even food cycles to airports and motorways across North America, and plans to continue expanding these mobile offerings.

HMSHost is always looking for ways to enhance the dining experience for busy travelers, not only through technology but also exceptional guest service, unique experiences, accessibility, and convenience. Customers are not always able to get the service or merchandise they desire because of store location, peak store traffic, disabilities, or tight connections. The concept of mobile offerings combats these issues by bringing food options directly to the gate at an airport, or to the parking lot at a motorway service plaza. The mobile aspect provides the opportunity to place dining offerings in regions that lack store presence and the flexibility to even shift location depending on demand.

HMSHost has recently launched several new motorized food carts in airports. Travelers in Hawaii may see the E Komo Mai Wagon driving by at Honolulu International Airport, or Wiki Wiki Wagon at Maui International Airport. These custom designed carts provide the capability to prepare food made fresh to order for guests—options like Hawaiian BBQ chicken tacos with crunchy slaw and Beet & Goat Cheese Salad as well as a selection of sandwiches and wraps.

Other mobile concepts that HMSHost has brought to travelers include Chicago O’Hare’s first mobile food cart, the Mobile Ala Cart, and Food Cycle at Memphis International Airport which delivers select food and beverages to travelers at their gates.

HMSHost has also launched food trucks for its motorway travelers. Its first BBQ truck, Road Hog, made its debut at the Delaware Welcome Center, before making its way to its current location at the Frank Farley Travel Plaza on the Atlantic City Expressway. HMSHost’s Empire Roadside BBQ truck recently opened at the New Baltimore Travel Plaza on the New York State Thruway. Empire Roadside BBQ was later introduced to the New Baltimore Travel Plaza on the New York Thruway, bringing rustic authentic BBQ to the Northeast. New Jersey Turnpike travelers also visit the Starbucks mobile truck at Molly Pitcher Travel Plaza.

Food trucks have grown into a booming phenomenon with quaint food vendors on wheels attracting hoards of hungry customers with their unique cuisines and charismatic personalities. HMSHost wanted to bring this down to earth dining style to travelers too, delivering quality culinary options while putting a creative twist on the experience.    

“HMSHost created these mobile vendors to meet the dining needs of travelers, right where they are,” said HMSHost Vice President of Innovation Jim Schmitz. “To us, innovation is more than technology—it is being at the right place, at the right time, with the right food and beverage offering. We’ve found that a significant group of travelers don’t like to leave their flight’s gate area or their vehicles while on the road, yet would love something to eat, or to have a drink to take on their journey. Mobile carts make grabbing a snack quick, easy, and convenient.”

This initiative aligns with HMSHost’s broader innovation strategy which includes developments like mobile app integration with Grab and Kallpod, as well as implementation of delivery services within HMSHost airport locations, with the ultimate goal to create the most seamless dining experience possible for the traveler.

Wiki Wiki Wagon at Honolulu International Airport.

Road Hog food truck parked at its previous location at the Delaware Welcome Center on the Delaware Turnpike.

Empire Roadside BBQ food truck at the New Baltimore Travel Plaza on the New York Thruway.

Food Cycle at Memphis International Airport.

Starbucks truck at the Molly Pitcher Travel Plaza on the New Jersey Turnpike.

HMSHost Leading the Industry

HMSHost has been recognized by the industry as the top provider of travel dining with awards such as 2016 Best Overall Food & Beverage Operator (for the ninth consecutive year) and Food Operator with the Highest Regard for Customer Service (for the seventh year) by Airport Revenue News. HMSHost has also been recognized by Airports Council International-North America, receiving First Place for Best New Food and Beverage (Full-Service Concept) for 1897 Market at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and First Place for Best Innovative Consumer Experience Concept for its Channel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

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, including 44 of the 50 busiest airports in North America. The Company has annual sales in excess of $2.8 billion and employs more than 37,000 sales 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 around €4.3 billion in 2015, the Group operates in 31 countries and employs over 57,000 people. It manages approximately 4,200 stores in over 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit www.HMSHost.com for more information. We can also be found on Facebook at fb.com/HMSHost and on Twitter at @HMSHost.

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