Starbucks looks to re-imagine its airport format

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Starbucks looks to re-imagine its airport format

By Marianne Wilson - 02/10/2020

Starbucks Corp. is teaming up with a new partner as it looks to re-imagine its customer experience in airports.

Starbucks is partnering with OTG, which operates more than 350 eateries and retail concepts in 10 North American airports, to introduce a variety of traditional and experiential locations, while exploring new technology to better serve customers anywhere in the terminal. Locations will move throughout the airport depending on time of day, with a Starbucks experience available at customers’ gates upon departure or arrival.  

“Our partnership with OTG will allow us to expand our footprint and reach more customers across U.S. airports,” said Henry Klein, Starbucks senior national account executive – travel. “We will also bring new innovations to the market and elevate the overall Starbucks Experience for partners and customers. This includes new store concepts and digital capabilities that meet our customers where they are in their particular travel journey.”

The new partnership comes after HMSHost, Starbucks’ airport partner since 1991, decided to opt out of its exclusive arrangement with the coffee giant. While the two companies will continue to work together, HMSHost will also begin to operate locations from other coffee brands in airports nationwide.

“We have had great success in bringing regional chefs and popular city dining favorites to airports and we’re ready to do the same with the coffee category,” said Steve Johnson, president and CEO, HMSHost, which operates more than 400 Starbucks locations in North America. “While we have, and will continue, a long partnership with Starbucks, we’re continuing to innovate in this space and focus on serving consumer and airport partner needs.”

Airport hospitality group OTG and Starbucks today announced a new partnership to introduce a re-imagined customer experience, with a focus on new experiential concepts and innovative technology to better serve travelers at airports across the country.

OTG is known for its best-in-class approach to dining and retail in airports including Newark, LaGuardia, JFK, Philadelphia International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Starbucks is the global leader in airport food and beverage. They are known for high-quality craft coffee beverages and their signature customer experience.

OTG and Starbucks will introduce a variety of traditional and experiential locations, while exploring new technology to better serve customers anywhere in the terminal. Locations will be thoughtfully placed and move throughout the airport depending on time of day, providing travelers a Starbucks experience at their gate upon departure or arrival. 

With a shared emphasis on providing a quality customer experience, this new partnership with OTG looks to usher in a new dynamic approach to how travelers get their Starbucks in the airport environment.

"OTG is thrilled to be forging this new and exciting partnership with Starbucks. Our mission is simple: deliver our guests what they want in the most efficient, frictionless way possible," said Rick Blatstein, OTG CEO. "This collaboration will allow us to introduce a fully re-imagined Starbucks customer experience, ensuring guests access to their preferred cup anywhere in the airport."