The Tampa International Airport has taken a completely different approach, kicking out Burger King, Carrabba’s, TGI Friday’s and Quiznos. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Chick-fil-A, Popeye’s and Panda Express were also proposed, but the airport is going with fast casual concepts like BurgerFi, PDQ and Wow! That’s Fresh (all local brands.)
Mayor Ashton Hayward wanted the national brands, believing they would generate more revenue and raise the image of the local airport. We are just now getting the new food concessions opened so it’s too early to judge the results. The local companies that bid on the Pensacola business were Bagelheads, The Fish House, Pensacola Bay Brewery and Varona’s. Last March, the mayor broke a deadlock in the Pensacola City Council by ruling that he didn’t need its approval for the new concessions contract.