The contract for the domestic terminal will run for five years, with the openings phased; the first units – a bar and a café – will open in May 2008. A food court will open in August 2008 and another landside unit, incorporating a deli and a take away, will be opened at a later date.
Kalle Ruuskanen, managing director, SSP Finland, said: “This win was certainly very good news for all of us at SSP Finland. It involves the whole domestic terminal and will include a bar, a café and a food court. Winning was all the more exciting because we faced very tough competition for the business.”
The aim is to highlight the very best in Scandinavian and Finnish design. SSP also wants to create recipes that make the best of the great seasonal ingredients of the region. Ruuskanen describes the airport as the ‘welcome mat’ of the country and therefore the ideal place to showcase local specialties. “We’re achieving this by working closely with innovative and inspiring local partners. Airport authority Finavia was impressed with our innovative ideas and customer-focused approach,” he said. “Our new bars and restaurants will bring something of all the four seasons to the terminal, both because of the seasonal food we serve, and also because of the ambiance of the units. Our bar for example will have an ‘apres-ski’ feel.”
Maximising under-utilised space
SSP also has three new outlets planned in Helsinki-Vantaa’s international terminal. It recently opened a new café called Coffee Spoon in the landside area, which serves homemade sandwiches, bakery products and ice cream – a big favourite with Finnish customers. It also features an espresso bar offering speciality coffees and a take away unit.
The Wine & View wine bar will offer a varied selection of wines from all continents. “It’s located at one of the best and busiest locations at the airport – just after security – which makes it a natural meeting place for passengers. To go with their wines, customers at Wine & View can also choose from a range of tapas,” said Ruuskanen. The selection of wines and the training of staff is being overseen by Juha Lihtonen, one of the Nordic region’s leading sommeliers.
Café Alvar will operate at the airport’s busiest gate area. The stunning new outlet is being built in partnership with well-known Finnish design and glassware companies – Artek and Iittala. “The cafe is named after Alvar Aalto, one of the most internationally well-known Finns and the design and architectural inspiration at both Artek and Iittala. The menu at Café Alvar will feature products from local small food producers,” said Ruuskanen.
SSP has identified areas of opportunity at Helsinki-Vantaa that have not been maximised. It is turning under-utilised space into a useful source of revenue. “Our know-how when it comes to providing the very best offer for each and every customer means we can maximise the commercial success of every square metre of retail space. The new units Wine & View and Café Alvar will be located in areas that are currently being used for non-commercial purposes, such as to provide seating,” said Ruuskanen.