Press Releases

Apr 6, 2016

HMSHost Awarded First Place for Best Innovative Consumer Experience Concept or Practice and Best New Food and Beverage (Full-Service Concept) by Airports Council International-North America

HMSHost’s Channel Your Inner Chef at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and exclusive restaurant 1897 Market at Charlotte Douglas International Airport honored with top awards HMSHost also recognized for Best New Food and Beverage (Quick-Service Concept) and for Best New National Brand Concept

BETHESDA, MD — Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) recognized global restaurateur HMSHost through the Excellence in Airport Concessions Awards with First Place for Best Innovative Consumer Experience Concept or Practice for its Channel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and First Place for Best New Food and Beverage (Full-Service Concept) for its proprietary restaurant 1897 Market at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

“We are extremely honored that ACI-NA has recognized us with these prestigious industry awards for innovation and for our restaurants in airports,” said HMSHost President and CEO Steve Johnson. “It is a very proud moment to see that our associates’ efforts toward constantly driving innovation through new guest experiences and best-in-class dining have been recognized. We thank ACI-NA for this recognition, our airport and brand partners for their collaboration on these offerings, and our associates for their continued passion.”

Channel Your Inner Chef, held at Chicago O’Hare in partnership with the Chicago Department of Aviation, is an innovative recipe contest that was developed to spotlight local flavor and celebrate HMSHost’s sponsorship of the 2015 James Beard Awards. Back by popular demand, it was recently held for a second time at O’Hare, in celebration of HMSHost’s sponsorship of the 2016 James Beard Awards. The contest encouraged travelers and associates to submit a video of themselves preparing their favorite recipe. Five finalists were selected to compete in a live cook-off right in the airport, with the winner receiving two tickets to the James Beard Awards gala, round trip airfare, and having their winning dish featured on the menu of an HMSHost-operated restaurant at the airport. For more information, please visit

HMSHost’s 1897 Market is an urban gourmet market where travelers can experience an epicurean immersion before jet-setting. 1897 Market greets travelers with a wide selection of dining options that are freshly made from locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant features a raw bar, meat carvery, pizza oven, and wraparound bar, as well as a market with unique items and gifts, and a lounge seating area. 1897 Market was named for the year that HMSHost was founded and is the company’s flagship proprietary restaurant brand. Inspiration for 1897 Market comes from HMSHost’s 119 years of experience and passion for serving people on the move.

HMSHost also placed for Best New Food and Beverage (Quick-Service Concept) for La Madeleine at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and for Best New National Brand Concept for Starbucks Evenings at Los Angeles International Airport.

A number of airport partners at which HMSHost operates were also recognized for their concessions, including Denver International Airport, Edmonton International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Portland International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.

The ACI-NA Excellence in Concessions Contest inspires creativity in the airport industry and recognizes innovative and outstanding airport concessions. The awards were announced during an awards gala dinner at the 2016 ACI-NA Business of Airports Conference in Orlando, FL.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates locations all over North America, and is part of Autogrill Group, the world's leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. Visit for more information.