Experiences to repeat and share
FAB 2020 host Istanbul Airport is aiming to become the “definitive airport culinary destination”, with main operator Tum & Ictur adopting a strategy based on blending the best local and international concepts at competitive prices.
The magnificent Istanbul Airport features the best of Turkish food and drink blended with international flavours, and a breadth of offer that befits Istanbul’s fast-growing status as a leading hub.
Istanbul Airport will host the annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards on 23-24 June 2020. The event will be supported strongly by Tum & İçtur, the concessionaire managing 34,000sq m of food & beverage space, under IGA operation.
Tum & İçtur manages all of the food & beverage units in both the domestic and international terminals, with sub-leasing arrangements with national and international brands. Tum & İçtur has grand ambitions, with Business Development Director Uğur Karakaş believing the airport can “lead the world and become the definitive airport culinary destination”.
Uğur Karakaş: “Turkish cuisine is world renowned and we want the food experience at Istanbul Airport to reflect this history and heritage”
Strong F&B mix: Concessionaire Tum & İçtur has blended local and international names at Istanbul Airport
“Our vision is to give passengers from all around the world an experience they will simply want to repeat and share with friends, family and business colleagues,” he says.
“Turkish cuisine is world renowned and we want the food experience at Istanbul Airport to reflect this history and heritage.”
To help realise this goal, Tum & İçtur will work with nationally known brands and more local Istanbul restaurants, and Karakaş says the company is “passionate and excited” about these opportunities.
Tum & İçtur Business Development Director Uğur Karakaş wants passengers to enjoy and share their experiences. Pictured are Mvnch (above) and Gloria Jean’s Coffees (below).
He adds: “We plan to work with experts from all around the world, who share our sense of enthusiasm and passion to make Istanbul Airport a spectacle of food and the best in the world.
“Our concept selection for the airport is an impressive line-up of ‘first to Turkey’ brands, international brands, local brands and unique bespoke brands all developed from exceptional partnerships with some of the world’s and region’s most iconic culinary heroes.”
A range of concepts are performing well so far, according to Karakaş. “Grab & go, fine dining restaurants, Turkish food, Sushi restaurants, pubs and food courts are working very well, showing that our F&B operators are doing exceptional work.
Culinary heroes: The eclectic mix at Istanbul Airport includes Sincerely Yogurt, Tickerdaze (above left) and Brewmark Pub (above right)
“The first six months shows us this is only the beginning. In the near future, once our subway system is fully active and operating, we believe turnover will be even higher than today.”
A key part of the F&B offer is the design and atmosphere, which falls in line with the overarching look of the airport itself, which Karakaş says boasts a “contemporary yet functional structure” but with unique characteristics.
The architecture reflects the already rich social and cultural heritage of the global city of Istanbul, he explains. “Since the terminal design is inspired by the magnificence of Istanbul, the architectural richness of Istanbul’s mosques, baths, domes and many other historical structures have been incorporated. Motifs derived from Turkish-Islamic art and architecture provide beauty, texture and depth to the project.”
The diversity of offerings continues with Tadinda Anadolu, Yo! Sushi (above left), Mood Up (above right) and Deli Aux Pain (below)
The excellent range of F&B units and the spectacular design are key elements – so too is the imperative to keep pricing consistent and fair.
“We are very sensitive about the daily business and we haven’t had any complaints so far about pricing,” he says. “Our menus are very competitive with other airports, both locally and internationally.”
As well as fine tuning the existing strategy and offer, Karakaş has also set his sights on the next steps in building the reputation of the F&B offer at Istanbul Airport.
“According to feedback from our passengers , we need to focus on diversity of the F&B units,” he says. “We are working on a variety of different concepts such as traditional Turkish food, street food, Asian kitchen, and alternative sweets and pastries. Our aim is to create diversity.”
Already a hit with travellers, the eclectic dining offer looks set to improve still further over time – and deliver a ‘wow factor’ for FAB delegates next June.
The F&B mix at Istanbul Airport
Source: Tum & Ictur. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.