Street food – bringing a local flavour
The airports with the most enviable reputations are those that not only successfully evoke the atmosphere and culture of the region they serve, but also those that reflect the current trends. This applies to design, the retail landscape, and the overall customer experience – restaurants and bars are no exception.
It’s on the streets where the serious foodie will often find the best of the exciting flavours that are enjoyed by the most savvy locals. But how can these be used to add sparkle to an airport’s F&B offer?
Over many decades, SSP has honed the skill of bringing the best of a region’s cuisine to the airport. This includes street food, and earlier this year, its Street Food brand, created with Marcus Samuelsson, made its first US appearance at New York’s JFK airport.
By definition street food is portable, which means it can work well in a busy terminal. It’s seasonal, which helps make it local too – so it’s the perfect choice for an airport looking to underscore the unique attributes of the region it serves.
Another of the appeals of street food is its ephemeral nature – the fantastic van on a Norfolk shore selling sandwiches of freshly caught Cromer crab that is there one weekend and might not be there the next.
All of these charms have been captured at Manchester Airport, where a series of pop-up concepts means passengers are able to sample some of the best of the city’s street foods. The first of these is a concept called Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, which serves award-winning hand-made ice creams. More exciting concepts are planned. SSP is currently working with the creators of the most traditional of UK staples to the spiciest flavours of the cosmopolitan community to explore new ideas for Manchester and other airports across the UK.
Of course scaling up an operation from the pavement to the terminal requires considerable skill and ensuring a brand can meet the stringent demands of the travel environment is strictly for the experienced. However, done well, the colour it can add to a terminal makes it a very worthwhile venture.