Delaware North Companies Opens First Airport O’Charley’s
NASHVILLE, TENN./BUFFALO, N.Y., (July 9, 2007) — O’Charley’s Inc., a leading casual-dining restaurant company, and Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, a new O’Charley’s franchisee and one of the world’s leading airport food service and retail providers, today announced the opening on Friday, July 6 of an O’Charley’s restaurant in the Nashville International Airport, Concourse C. The restaurant is part of Delaware North’s planned expansion of food and beverage operations at the airport under a long-term contract awarded by the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA). It is the first O’Charley’s restaurant to be located in an airport.
“As air traffic has continued to grow, so has the variety and level of sophistication of airport retail shopping and dining,” said Jeff Warne, O’Charley’s concept president. “We view the airport restaurant segment as a major growth opportunity for O’Charley’s, and we are delighted to be partnering with Delaware North, our newest franchisee and a highly regarded airport food service company with a proven track record, in this new venture. We look forward to building on our relationship with them.
“Delaware North plans to bring a dynamic mix of local and national brands to the Nashville airport that offers a broad palette of flavors, cuisines and menu choices that showcase the city and are popular with Nashville visitors. We are honored to be the first to open.”
At 5,800 square feet, the airport O’Charley’s has seating for 140 and is similar in size and design to the company’s new smaller Prototype 6. According to restaurant General Manager Leo “Skip” Johnson, the menu has been modified to accommodate the greater speed of service necessary in an airport setting and includes a number of O’Charley’s signature items and guest favorites that can be prepared to meet travelers’ needs—unsliceably soft yeast rolls, Chicken O’Tenders and Ooey Gooey Caramel Pie, to name a few. “We also will offer two features unique to our airport location: continental breakfast and ‘Grab & Go,’ which includes a variety of freshly prepared pre-made salads, like our Southern Fried Chicken Salad and the California Chicken Salad, as well as such sandwiches as the Black & Bleu Caesar Wrap and Club Sandwich. This combination accommodates those who have the time to enjoy a leisurely meal in comfortable surroundings, and also allows those who are running to catch their plane an opportunity to take an appetizing, well-prepared meal on board with them.”
“We have experience and relationships with both local and national brands and intend to take food and beverage concessions to the next level at Nashville International Airport,” said Nick Biello, chief operating officer, Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services. “Using the airport as a gateway to the city of Nashville, Delaware North will offer the best in local and regional food and entertainment, including O’Charley’s, and a host of other concepts set to open later in the year.”
The expanded food and beverage service are part of phase one of the airport’s $44 million renovation project. The airport authority expects total food service offerings to bring in more than $26 million a year, up from the $16.1 million annual gross income in 2006. The MNAA targeted Nashville businesses for inclusion in its renovation plans after a customer survey found that people at the airport trust local brands as much as national brands.
The Nashville airport O’Charley’s generally will be open from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, but hours may vary with airline schedules.