Press Releases

Mar 1, 2019

HMSHost Recognized as Travel Dining Leader with Award-Winning Customer Service and Culinary Concepts

USA TODAY and industry recognizes HMSHost for culinary excellence and leading guest experience

BETHESDA, Md. (March 1, 2019) – Traveling foodies, take note! Next time you’re in an airport, be sure to seek out these award-winning dining experiences.

Global restaurateur HMSHost leads the charge with highly commended restaurants for airport travelers. At the 2019 Airport Experience® Conference Awards Gala this week, HMSHost received top honors for Restaurateur with the Highest Regard Customer Service, as well as Best Brand Restaurateur for Shake Shack. These awards are a testament to HMSHost’s accomplishments in elevating the overall travel dining experience with best-in-class food and beverage offerings, as well as delivering travelers great customer service.

At the gala, USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards, a set of consumer-facing awards voted on by readers, were also announced. HMSHost’s Whisky River at Raleigh-Durham International Airport was honored to receive two first place awards for the Best Airport Bar and Best Airport Bar/Restaurant Atmosphere categories. Whisky River’s Charlotte Douglas International Airport location was recognized as well, receiving first place in the Best Airport Sitdown Dining category, further emphasizing Whisky River as a not-to-be-missed travel dining destination.

“It is an honor to be recognized with these prestigious awards by our industry peers and travelers. We accept these awards on behalf of our hard-working and talented associates across North America who, individually and collectively, make HMSHost the leader in our industry,” said HMSHost President and CEO Steve Johnson. “We’re grateful to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and Raleigh-Durham International Airport, along with all our exceptional airport, culinary, and small business partners. It is crucial partnerships such as these that continue HMSHost’s drive of elevating airport dining. We look forward to continuing to work together to further deliver outstanding experiences for your travelers.”

Other HMSHost locations making the top ten in their respective USA TODAY 10Best categories include: 1897 Market at Charlotte Douglas International Airport; Air Margaritaville at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; Cigar City Brewing at Tampa International Airport; Flying Dog Tap House at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport; Food & Bounty at Los Angeles International Airport; Hugo's Cocina at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport; Makai Plantation at Honolulu's Daniel K. Inouye International Airport; The Washington Redskins Burgundy & Gold Club at Washington Dulles International Airport; Three Kings Public House at St. Louis Lambert International Airport; and Tortas Frontera at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The Airport Experience® Conference, held this year in Las Vegas, is where the airport concessions industry gathers to learn about the latest trends, network with airport decision-makers, and experience an exhibit hall featuring the foremost brands, concepts and operators in the industry.

About Shake Shack & HMSHost: Shake Shack is a critically acclaimed, modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, griddled-crisp flat-top dogs, fresh-made frozen custard, crinkle cut fries, craft beer, wine, and more. HMSHost brought Shake Shack, a brand with a cult-like following around the world, to LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B, Los Angeles International Airport’s Terminal 3, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal 3. Through a development agreement, HMSHost will open additional Shake Shacks in the coming years including at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Mineta San José International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Orlando International Airport, and Salt Lake City International Airport.

About Whisky River & HMSHost: HMSHost partnered with Dale Earnhardt Jr. to bring Whisky River’s signature honky-tonk hangout vibe and casual dining experience to travelers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s Atrium and Raleigh–Durham International Airport’s Terminal 2. Whisky River’s chef-driven menu is known for its simple, yet craveable dishes with regional flair. In addition to great food and drinks, Whisky River brings country-western style to the airport with belt buckles that adorn an entire wall, images of whisky barrels throughout the restaurant, rustic barn wood, stone walls, cowhide seating, and even live music from local musicians on the Whisky River music stage. An upcoming Whisky River is planned for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

We took home 5 AWARDS last night at #AXConference19!!

HMSHost received Best Brand Restaurateur for @shakeshack & Restaurateur with the Highest Regard for Customer Service
Whisky River landed Best Airport Bar, Airport Sitdown Dining, & Airport Bar/Restaurant Atmosphere

— HMSHost (@HMSHost) February 28, 2019

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.