After a decade-long absence, Chick-fil-A is booking a return ticket to Denver International Airport.
Atlanta-based Concessions International is planning to open a Chick-fil-A restaurant at the food court on Concourse B. It will be Concessions International’s 10th restaurant at the Denver airport and the first Chick-fil-A at DIA since the chicken joint departed from Concourse A in 2004.
“Chick-fil-As have done extremely well in airports around the country,” said Anthony Joseph, president at Concessions International. “In terms of speed of service, quality of food and the sales generated at other locations, Chick-fil-A has a strong track record at airports.”
Concessions International’s lease agreement is still pending approval at City Council and is slated to go before the Business Development Committee on Tuesday. If approved, rent for the 1,136-square-foot space will run $616,227 per year, which comes to $51,350 per month. The deal runs for seven years.
Chick-fil-A’s first go at DIA started in 2002. It was a short stay for the Georgia-based chain that ended when a dual-concept KFC and Pizza Hut landed in its Concourse A restaurant space in mid-2004.
But travelers seem to have missed the fried chicken shack. Joseph said it was the second-most requested restaurant in polls his firm took from DIA flyers, trailing only Chipotle.
The Chick-fil-A will be a joint venture between Concessions International and Mike De la Rosa of Delarosa Restaurant Concepts. De la Rosa also owns the Burger King in the airport’s main terminal. Atlanta-based Concessions International’s DIA holdings include the New Belgium Hub Bar & Grill, Dazbog, Panda Express, Wetzel’s Pretzels and a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Concessions International has been working on the Chick-fil-A deal since the start of the year. When space opens up at DIA, Joseph said the airport requests proposals, whittles down the list of bids and interviews a short list of candidates before selecting a winner.
The airport’s committee then forwards a lease proposal to City Council for approval, which is where the Chick-fil-A plan currently stands. Joseph said Concessions International put in its bid for the restaurant at the beginning of the year and learned it had won the contract in July.
Joseph added that it typically costs between $700 and $800 per square foot to open an airport Chick-fil-A.
“Chick-fil-A is a brand that has done extremely well at airports,” he said. “Which is especially impressive, since at airports Chick-fil-A sticks to its policy of not being open on Sundays.”