Delaware North tests gate-side delivery

BUFFALO N.Y. Concessionaire Delaware North Cos. is testing the delivery of meals to travelers while they wait to board selected flights at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida.

The program, which debuted in Fort Lauderdale’s Terminal 1/Concourse B area about two months ago, is available during peak flight times. Staffers from Delaware North concessions mill about the gate to take orders from travelers, who order off a limited menu culled from the company’s various concepts in the facility. The order is then delivered to the passengers, sparing them the need to leave the gate and possibly miss their flight or lose their seat.

The servers are paid $1 to $2 more per hour than other concession employees as a gratuity, said Nick Biello, chief operating officer of the company’s travel hospitality division.

Although the service currently is offered in only a single terminal, Delaware North hopes to roll it into other locations within the next year, Biello said.

Biello would not give any sales projections for the program, but said it has “great revenue potential.”

Delaware North operates 300 restaurants and retail outlets in more than 25 airports worldwide. The company specializes in on-site facilities within travel, sports and entertainment venues.