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Concessions Refresh Program

Being an award-winning airport means keeping the experience at Indianapolis International Airport (IND) fresh and meaningful for both leisure and business travelers alike. Having the best quality concessionaires and vendors at IND plays a large role in ensuring that this happens.

If you are an owner or general manager of the following industries, this program is for you. 

  • Restaurants and eateries
  • Wineries and breweries
  • Retailers and gift shops
  • Suppliers of the above-mentioned
  • Businesses who might want to have their products sold at IND, but not run a store
  • Architects and designers who might design a concessionaire’s new space

A number of existing concessionaire and retailer leases will expire in 2018, which presents an opportunity for the IAA to take food, beverage and retail in a fresh direction, one that shouts "We are Indianapolis."

Concessions Refresh Informative Session

On November 8 at 10 a.m., the Indianapolis Airport Authority hosted an informative meeting in anticipation of the release of the Concessions Refresh Request For Information.

This day-long event, held at the airport (IND), provided an overview of the updated concessions program, available leasing opportunities, a tour of the terminal, and time for local brands and national concession operators to get to know one another. To view the presentation given at the session, click here.

View Presentation

Concessions Refresh Program Solicitation

The IAA will issue a solicitation on January 2018 for the Concessions Refresh Program. Visit the link below to register your company in our online solicitation management system to be notified when the solicitation is public.

Vendor Registration

Insight into the Concessions Refresh Program

DISCLAIMER: The following questions and answers are provided for general information only and may not be completely accurate in every circumstance, do not purport to be legal advice, and are not intended to be legally binding on the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA.) The IAA reserves the right to make changes to the concession refresh program. 

Click the dropdowns below for answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the goals of the Concession Refresh program at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND)?

Being an award-winning airport means keeping the experience at IND fresh and meaningful for both leisure and business travelers alike. The Concession Refresh Program is intended to attract authentic retailers and food & beverage providers to the airport, as a means of showcasing local foods, beverages and brands that directly represent the Hoosier experience as permitted by law. A primary goal of the Concessions Refresh Program is to meet and exceed a traveler’s expectations, and to specifically ensure the IND Concessions Program recognizes expectations of the “traveler of the future,” including products, services and offerings reflective of Indy’s top food, beverage and retail brands.

What is a concessionaire?

A concessionaire is a business partner (entity) that has entered into a Concession Agreement with the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) to provide concessions offerings, such as food & beverage, retail and services, to travelers, visitors and employees of the Indianapolis International Airport. 

I want to bring my business to the airport. How do I get involved/started?

The current Concessions Program consists of 56 individual retail spaces of which 53 are currently leased. More than 30 food & beverage, specialty retail and news & gift concessions locations are expiring at the end of 2018, with six more locations set to expire at the end of 2020. 

As of August 2017, the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) is in the process of space planning for the future of the Concessions Program. A key mission is to develop the Concessions Program to meet the needs of today’s passengers and to be relevant. This will be achieved through a public solicitation process in advance of the current locations expiring. When the space planning process is completed, the IAA will conduct a solicitation process (The method of solicitation has not yet been determined). One component to keep in mind with the future program is that concession spaces may be altered in category type, such as from a news & gift category to a food & beverage concept.   

I’ve never submitted a response to a solicitation before. How do I get started?

Make sure you have experience in operating the type of concept you wish to propose. Then work on developing your business plan with specific emphasis on financing and operational expertise. Determine first whether your organization is interested in: a direct Concession Agreement with the IAA, or if a business partnership, with a “prime operator” or joint venture model, is an avenue you are interested in pursuing.  If you are interested in the business partnership or joint venture route, begin to pursue and actively seek out established airport concession operators (sometimes referred to as a prime operator) or other qualified individuals/firms.  

What is a prime operator?

A prime operator is typically a national or international company that manages several concession or retail locations in an airport, mall, strip mall or other similar shopping environment. An example of this is currently if you purchase something from one of the well-known brands in the Indianapolis International Airport and pay with a credit card. The top of the receipt may state the name of the prime operator, not the national brand. The best explanation of the function of a prime operator is that the prime operator is the franchisee of third party brand. In other words, the prime operator is responsible for running the store, purchasing the materials and supplies, making and serving/selling the products and/or services offered under the third-party brand, staffing the location, hiring and training their employees, health department requirements, financial reporting to the airport and the other daily functions.The third party brand owner dictates and mandates the kind/quality of ingredients, signage, store appearance and overall brand guidelines, to name a few examples. The airport is not involved with the negotiations of contractual terms between the prime operator and the third party brand. 

If you would like contact information for the primes currently operating in the airport please contact David Shaw at

What if my proposal is not selected? Can I still submit in the future?

If your proposal is not selected, you are not excluded from future opportunities. You can still submit in the future.

When will the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) issue the solicitation?

The IAA will issue a solicitation in January 2018. Sign up for the IAA's online solicitation management system to be notified when the solicitation is posted. It's free to register and view open solicitations. 

How long will I have to respond to the solicitation?

IAA staff anticipates that respondents will have approximately 90 days after the date the solicitation is issued to submit their response. Specific instructions will be included in the solicitation.

Is there an experience requirement necessary to be awarded a contract?

The IAA typically requires a minimum of three to five years of experience in of continuous ownership and management of food and beverage or retail concessions that are comparable in scope and complexity to a shopping center, airport, transportation center, mall, brick-and-mortar location or other prominent setting. 

How long can the solicitation review process take?

The review process will include a review of responses and selection of concessionaires and concepts for specific site(s), followed by concession agreement negotiations. This process generally takes about 5-6 months from the issuance of the solicitation. Selected proposers will be notified that their proposal have been selected for negotiation of a concession agreement. The selection committee will not notify proposers which are NOT selected until concession terms are finalized and agreed to with the selected proposers. (If all parties reach a preliminary agreement on the terms of the concession agreement, no selection is final until the IAA Board approves the concession agreement.)  

Is there a fee to participate in the solicitation process?

No; however, if awarded a contract the IAA could require a performance bond or security deposit upfront. At this time no decision has been made whether to require such a deposit. You will receive more details in the solicitation document.

When the solicitation is issued, what/how will the communication process be?

All communication will go through the IAA Procurement Department. Sign up for the IAA's online solicitation management system to be notified when the solicitation is posted. It's free to register and view open solicitations. 

Who makes the selections from the submitted proposals?

The IAA will create a selection committee, which will be composed of IAA staff from various internal departments and background expertise as well as external individuals who share the same vision and goals for the IAA. The selection committee will make a recommendation to the IAA Board, which will either accept or reject the committee's recommendation.

Will there be a pre-proposal meeting? And if so when?

Yes, there will be two pre-proposal meetings which will take place approximately 2-4 weeks after the solicitation is issued. The pre-proposal meeting affords respondents an opportunity to ask questions and take an in-depth tour of the terminal. Interested respondents will need to attend only one meeting.

What format will the solicitation response need to be submitted in?

Multiple hard copies will need to be submitted to the IAA on or before the due date. More information on this topic will be available in the solicitation document.

Is there a website where I can learn more about operating in an airport or airport concessions in general?

Airport Revenue News (ARN) is an industry leader on airport concessions information. Visit their website at

What is the average spending per customer at IND?

The 2016 average spend per departing passenger was $11.20. This is inclusive of food & beverage and retail stores. DISCLAIMER – this number could rise and fall on a monthly basis due to a variety of contributing factors. 

How does the IAA determine the use for each space?

The IAA is working with various internal experts, industry consultants and stakeholders to develop a future concessions layout plan and terminal space utilization plan. The IAA uses multiple resources (market research, consultants, passenger interviews and surveys, industry best practice data, etc.) to identify the optimum use for each space and to anticipate future desired passenger trends and preferences.

How many people will fly in and out of IND over the next few years?

IND served over 8.5 million total business and leisure travelers in 2016 and averages 143 daily flights, seasonally and year-round, to 49 nonstop destinations, which breaks the record for number of nonstop flights out of the new terminal. The annual passenger count is projected to remain consistent with conservative increases of passenger traffic in future years. 2017 is trending to be a record year for travelers through IND. Lastly, in September of 2017, the IAA was proud to announce the first transatlantic flight to Paris, which will begin in May of 2018.

How does the IAA charge rent to concessionaires?

Business terms will vary; however, the standard industry norm is that concessionaires pay a minimum annual rent, divided by twelve, payable every month. If applicable, concessionaires shall pay a percentage fee to the IAA should this percentage fee be greater than the minimum annual rent. 

Are there expenses on top of the rent which I would need to pay each month or as-needed?

Yes, examples of those expenses are insurance, utilities, common use fees, loading dock fees, parking, badging/credentials, preventative maintenance, etc. Additional information and specific pricing for these expenses will be explained in the solicitation.

What is a concessions package?

All opportunities in a concession solicitation process are offered either as a single location or multiple locations known as a “package.”

Is funding available from the IAA for buildout of the space/restaurant?

In most cases, the tenant is responsible for all capital investment, buildout or improvements. The IAA will deliver a standard “white-box” to the tenant, which shall include a clean space which is free of temporary/non-permanently attached fixtures, cabinets, shelves, lighting, etc. 

What is the expected length of term for either a food/beverage or retail location?

The term could vary, but in many cases the length of the agreement is 7-10 years, with a requirement for a mid-term refurbishment, especially for longer concession agreements.

What are IND’s standard operating hours for restaurants and retail locations?

This can range based on flight schedules, time of year, passenger counts, however the typical range is 5:00 am – 9:00 pm, 7 days a week, including all holidays. This is subject to change however and these times should only be considered as examples. 

What is an ACDBE?

An Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) is a for-profit small business that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged or, in the case of a corporation where at least 51 percent of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals; and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it.

To learn more about ACDBE, visit the IND Supplier Diversity Program

Do I have to be ACDBE certified to operate a concession at the airport?

No, ACDBE certification is not required to operate a concession at IND. If a proposer is seeking ACDBE credit to meet an ACDBE goal, the ACDBE firm must be certified through the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)  at the time of proposal submission. A certification letter must be included with the proposal submission.

What is the food & beverage or retail pricing methodology at IND?

Generally, IND concessionaires are contractually bound to charge at or very close to street pricing.

Does IND allow concepts on a trial or “pop-up” basis?

IND does not currently have a specific program for trial concepts, such as a “pop-up store” or temporary location; however, IAA is exploring various concepts as it designs the upcoming concessions refresh process and/or future opportunities.

I have a product that I would like to sell in the retail shops at IND. How do I do that?

If interested in selling a specific product at IND, please e-mail the Director of Concessions at to request contact information for store managers of each retail and food & beverage concept at IND.

Concessions Refresh Information

Learn more about the Concessions Refresh program, gain insight on doing business at the Indianapolis International Airport, and find the tools necessary to develop a business plan as a concessionaire at the airport.

Concessions Presentation

Current IND Tenants & Expiration Dates

A number of existing concessionaire and retailer leases will expire in 2018, which presents an opportunity for the IAA to take food, beverage and retail in a fresh direction, one that shouts "We are Indianapolis."

Lease Expirations

Opportunity for Food, Beverage and Retail

In late 2016, the IAA hosted two outreach meetings, which kicked off the Concessions Refresh Program. The Concessions Refresh Program is an opportunity for the IAA to take food, beverage and retail in a fresh direction, one that shouts "We are Indianapolis." Businesses eligible for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or Airport-Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) programs are encouraged to attend. The IAA encourages local participation; current experience operating concessions at an airport is not required.

Representing Indy and Indiana

The Concession Refresh program is intended to attract “sense of place” retailers and food-and-beverage providers to the airport, as a means of showcasing local foods, beverages and brands that directly represent the Indianapolis culture and community. The IAA seeks to provide an immersion experience for travelers, so that when they land at IND, they are surrounded by the sights, sounds and tastes that comprise the Hoosier experience.

Have Questions? 

For additional information on the Concessions Refresh Program at IND please contact David by email or phone. 

David Shaw
Director of Concessions & Air Service
Phone: 317-625-5948