Press Releases

Jun 28, 2019

HMSHost Recognized for Bringing Travelers Award-Winning Dining Choices, Experiences, and Green Concessions Practices

HMSHost presented with prestigious industry awards for Best “Green” Concessions Practice, Best New National Brand Concept, Outstanding Airport Food & Beverage Offer, among others

DALLAS (June 28, 2019) – Delicious news for travel foodies: airport dining experiences continue to elevate for travelers across North America with award-winning concepts and initiatives spearheaded by global restaurateur HMSHost.

This month, HMSHost received esteemed recognition from leading industry organizations including the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) Excellence in Airport Concessions Awards, as well as The Moodie Davitt Report’s Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Awards. HMSHost’s top recognitions include:

  • Best “Green” Concessions Practice or Concept – 1st Place for HMSHost’s Food Donation program
  • Best New National Brand Concept – 1st Place for Starbucks at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • Outstanding Small Airport Food & Beverage Offer – Bia Mara at Halifax Stanfield International Airport

“HMSHost is honored for these prestigious award recognitions. We’re grateful to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and Halifax Stanfield International Airport, along with all our exceptional airport, culinary, and small business partners for working with us as we continue to transform and deliver outstanding traveler dining experiences,” said HMSHost President and CEO Steve Johnson.

Numerous other recognitions from the 2019 ACI-NA and FAB awards include:

  • ACI-NA Best Innovative Consumer Experience Concept or Practice – 2nd Place for Eat Well. Travel Further.
  • ACI-NA Best New Food & Beverage Full-Service Concept – 2nd Place for Whisky River at Raleigh-Durham International Airport
  • ACI-NA Best “Green” Concessions Practice or Concept – 3rd Place for HMSHost’s #NoStraws campaign
  • FAB F&B Marketing & Promotions Campaign of the Year - Regional winner (Americas) & Highly Commended: HMSHost’s 1,000 Acts of Kindness
  • FAB Airport Chef of the Year – Highly Commended: HMSHost’s Jeff Steelman
  • FAB F&B Team Member of the Year – Highly Commended: HMSHost’s Freddie Maldonado from Tampa International Airport
  • FAB F&B Team Member of the Year – Highly Commended: HMSHost’s Emily Moreira from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
  • FAB F&B Team Member of the Year – Highly Commended: HMSHost’s Gustavo Pinedo from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

This is the second consecutive year ACI-NA recognized HMSHost with first place honors for its “Green” Concessions Practice or Concept. Steve Johnson added, “In addition to delivering travelers award-winning dining choices, we’re stewards to the environment with our sustainability efforts. The culmination of these many honors is a testament to our exceptional associates. Each day, they further HMSHost as the industry leader not only in sustainability practices, but with innovative dining solutions, culinary expertise, exemplary service, and unique events that together create memorable dining experiences for a traveler’s journey.”

Learn more about HMSHost’s innovative culinary offerings and chef partnerships at To find HMSHost food and beverage locations, visit the HMSHost location finder map.

About HMSHost’s ACI-NA and FAB Honorees:
About HMSHost’s Food Donation: HMSHost’s food donation program supports the three pillars of the company’s startsomewhere® sustainability initiative, which focuses on the environment, nutrition and wellness, and community partnerships. The program helps build a better future for those in need in the communities we serve by donating to local food banks from HMSHost restaurants in more than 50 North American airports.

About HMSHost & Starbucks: HMSHost partnered with Starbucks to open the first location in an airport more than 25 years ago. This thriving, award-winning partnership has expanded to more than 400 locations operated by HMSHost in travel venues across North America, including in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Mall within Terminal 1. As one of MSP’s newest Starbucks, travelers can enjoy their favorite Starbucks signature beverages, baked goods, sandwiches, and more throughout the day.

About Bia Mara: Bia Mara, meaning “seafood” in the Irish language, is an HMSHost proprietary concept designed especially for Halifax Stanfield International Airport travelers. Bia Mara is an elegant casual dining concept that honors and celebrates Nova Scotia’s abundant seafood offerings. The restaurant is located in the departures area near Gate 14.

About Eat Well. Travel Further.: Eat Well. Travel Further. is HMSHost’s wellness initiative created to highlight its commitment to continuously offer options that better align with the health-conscious traveler by bringing in new and healthful ingredients, products, and flavors to fuel their journey. Leveraging evolving popular health food trends across the country, HMSHost aims to support the needs of health-conscious guests and to bring all travelers expanded health-forward choices they might not expect to find when on the move.

About Whisky River: HMSHost partnered with Dale Earnhardt Jr. to bring Whisky River’s signature honky-tonk hangout vibe and casual dining experience to travelers at 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. In addition to RDU, Whisky River is also located in Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s Concourse E, with an upcoming location planned for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

About HMSHost’s #NoStraws Campaign: Americans use an average of 500 million drinking straws daily and more than 175 billion straws find their way into landfills and oceans every year. As part of our ongoing sustainability initiatives, HMSHost will eliminate conventional plastic straw use at all of our North American food and beverage locations by 2020. HMSHost has already made strides in this sustainability area. HMSHost began eliminating plastic cocktail stirrers in nearly all bar and casual dining locations. As part of a previous Earth Month initiative, HMSHost created two straw-free signature cocktails to raise awareness in nearly 400 HMSHost airport restaurants and further fuel the conversation on social media about the environmental impact of plastic straws and other single-use plastics, using the hashtag #NoStraws.

About 1,000 Acts of Kindness: As part of HMSHost’s Share Your Love campaign, 1,000 Acts of Kindness is a unique and innovative experience that at its root brought travelers together in ways never done before in an airport, ultimately delivering them with the unexpected fulfillment of uplifting a fellow travelers day. For the Valentine’s Day season, HMSHost set out to airports across the country to show our appreciation for our guests by giving them the tools to empower them to deliver a random act of kindness to others. Learn more and watch an inspiring recap of the experience at:

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.