If you had the power to trial and test a different approach to the food & beverage (F&B) offer at any given airport, in order to increase revenue and improve the satisfaction of travellers, what would you do? Here is just one idea for consideration…

Airports today

It is generally accepted that airports have an enviable position in that they have a captive audience of travellers, who are potential shoppers in their Travel Retail/ Duty Free shops and Food & Beverage (F&B) outlets.

The experience provided to travellers will directly impact on their desire to shop and it has been reported through airport surveys (e.g. DKMA Airport Consumer Survey) that satisfied travellers are twice more likely to shop and will also spend more. None of this is a surprise and it seems like a logical conclusion from a commercial perspective that higher levels of satisfied travellers equate to higher non-aeronautical revenues for all the stakeholders involved.

But how can you improve the traveller experience and increase satisfaction, especially as most travellers do not plan on buying anything at the airport?

Given that more time is spent by travellers at the Food & Beverage (F&B) outlets than inside a Retail, Travel Essentials or Duty free shop at an airport (as supported by the industry figures highlighting low levels of penetration), then rethinking the Airport Bar Experience could provide the opportunity to increase overall satisfaction.

It is all about the Experience…so Entertain them!

The 5 factors listed below are critical to improve the satisfaction of travellers and should be brought to life in any new Airport Bar Experience:

  • Bespoke – a personal approach, tailored to you
  • Crafted – celebrating our love of the beautifully-made
  • Engaging – informative and exciting in equal measure
  • Sensorial – indulgence through sight, sound, touch and taste
  • Unforgettable – an experience like no other

Making a new proposition experiential and engaging for the traveller will evoke positive associations and make them memorable.


Education, Education, Education

Travellers and people in general can buy any bottle of Scotch Whisky, any bar of chocolate, or any gift item or service.

The difference between a commodity and a product that people line up for, is that a great product adds meaning and purpose to peoples’ lives.

As a brand, your expertise in the product you sell and the way in which it affects the people who use  it.  If it is Scotch whisky, teach them about how it is made and its craft, unique stories to share and the best ways to drink it including making cocktails at home and with friends. Education is time consuming but ultimately it will change the traveller’s perception of your product and brand as well as the category.

This has already started to be recognised with Scotch whisky brands led by larger companies creating their own boutique stores at certain airports, mainly driven by Johnnie Walker House (Diageo) but also the Macallan stand-alone boutique (The Edrington Group) and the Dalmore flagship whisky store (Whyte & Mackay).

However these are very brand specific and do not champion the Scotch whisky category and its brands as a whole and the wider offering from Spirits in general, also limiting the appeal and diversity of offer and inclusiveness of the many brands available, including new and interesting propositions.

The Airport Bar Experience – Revisited!

Imagine a place where you can temporarily escape from the surrounding hustle and bustle of the airport…

Imagine a place offering bespoke service with information shared in an exciting and engaging manner with the use of technology…

Imagine a place that celebrates craft and what is uniquely made, highlighting popular products but also offering something interesting and new…

Now imagine a venue at the airport where you could visit, relax, enjoy a drink, find out more about a specific topic (e.g. Scotch Whisky production, Craft Gins, etc) and assisted by well informed brand ambassadors.

Below is what this could look like, below is the Barrel House concept…

The Barrel House concept



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