Travelers who use the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport receive much more than safe and efficient air travel. They can also immerse themselves in the food and culture of the Crescent City, and with enhanced precautions in place, do so in a safe manner.
The new terminal features food, beverage, news, gift and specialty retail options designed to appeal to both locals and visitors alike. Locals will find their New Orleans favorites like Emeril’s, Fleurty Girl, and MoPho while visitors can find recognizable brands like Chick-Fil-A, Brighton, and Panda Express. This mix of concessions offers something for everyone at all price points.
The terminal’s concessions program includes many internationally-recognized vendors, including HMSHost, Paradies Lagardère, Chase North, Stellar and Vino Volo.
This year, those vendors have pivoted to continue offering travelers the amenities they seek while keeping both passengers and staff as safe as possible.
“Although many airport concessions have closed or reduced hours due to the decline in passenger traffic, there are still several concessions options for passengers,” said Kevin Dolliole, the airport’s director of aviation. “We are grateful to all our vendors for working closely with us to continue to meet the needs of our passengers despite the financial challenges we are facing. They have also taken the appropriate steps to make sure customers and employees are safe.”
In many cases, vendors have embraced technology to create a safe experience.
“There was already a trend of people moving toward contactless ordering and paying through mobile devices. COVID has really accelerated that. In many places, customers can also order at the table through a QR code on their phone,” said Michael Price, HMSHost Vice President of Business Development.
HMSHost operates multiple restaurants in the airport, including Emeril’s Table, Mondo, Chili’s, Shake Shack, Lucky Dogs, Starbucks and more. At each location, Price said there has been an increased emphasis on cleanliness and physical distancing. Plexiglas barriers have been installed, restaurant seating has been modified and all employees must answer COVID-19 screening questions before being allowed to come to work. Employees must also wear appropriate PPE while on duty.
“The safety precautions have really become the focus of our company,” Price said. “We continue to evolve and work with the airport and local officials. Within our company, we have an operations call each week to discuss best practices and ways to continue to improve.”
Although some airport restaurants and concessions temporarily closed earlier this year during the height of the pandemic, many are beginning to reopen. Price said HMSHost has especially focused on re-opening the restaurants that represent the unique cuisine of New Orleans.
“The airport is the first place people visit and the last place they go when they are traveling in and out of town,” he said. “We find that travelers want genuine culinary experiences. They want to eat at restaurants that represent the charm and personality of a city. We’ve been fortunate to bring in many local chefs who use ingredients that are local to New Orleans.”
When Paradies Lagardère opened several concessions at the airport, the company also sought to ensure a thorough representation of New Orleans. Its outlets in the airport include Parish Provisions, The Advocate, Dylan’s Candy Bar, NOLA Couture, Fleurty Girl, CNBC News, a Tripadvisor store and others. At those locations, travelers can purchase clothing and gift items from New Orleans retailers, as well as food items like coffee and beignet mix from Café du Monde, Aunt Sally’s Creole pralines, Haydel’s Bakery king cakes and more.
“When you land in New Orleans, you are going to know that you are in New Orleans,” said Renee Tedesco, Vice President of Business Development for Paradies Lagardère. “We have brought in a lot of local influences and national brands that create a really well-rounded experience for the New Orleans traveler.”
Similarly, the New Orleans culture is embedded into The Club MSY, a lounge area where travelers can relax, work, enjoy a meal or have a drink. Most people who use the lounge are Priority Pass members, although walk-ins are accepted.
“It’s a very luxurious space with a gorgeous bar,” said Crystal McDonald, founder and CEO of JCM Management Group and joint venture partner for The Club MSY. “The fixtures are made of handblown glass. We have a lot of artwork from local artists. We partnered with local chef John Folse on the menu. It’s a unique opportunity to showcase the culture of the city for people who are leaving it or traveling through and may not have the time to experience all of it.”
To ensure that experience continues to be safe, additional safety precautions remain in place at The Club MSY. McDonald said the changes this year include contactless check-ins, PPE available at the registration desk and food served to travelers, rather than individuals serving themselves. Social distancing signs also remind travelers to stay at least six feet apart, and protective shields are in place throughout the lounge.
“We’re constantly working with the staff to ensure the guests feel safe amidst all that is happening,” McDonald said. “We still want them to receive the best service and the hospitality that we have to offer.”
Paradies also continues to undertake many COVID safety precautions. There are now displays at the front of each store and concession to show travelers the different options they have to stay safe, said Rene Ponce, Paradies Lagardère’s general manager for retail operations at the airport.
“We have gloves, masks, sanitizers and wipes readily available at all of our displays and registers,” Ponce said. “We’ve also become even more stringent about cleaning all of our stores on a consistent basis and making sure we are focusing on the touch points where customers interact with displays.”
In addition, Ponce said there are Plexiglas barriers at most stores, and customers have touchless payment options at all Paradies Lagardère locations.
“We feel we have done a great job of maintaining a high standard when it comes to keeping customers safe while also still having the products they need and want,” he said.
Ponce said the enhanced safety measures will remain in place for at least the foreseeable future.
Price said the same is true for HMSHost concessions.
“We are doing everything we can to make the airport a safe and welcoming environment,” Price said. “The restaurants are safe. People can feel comfortable going to their favorite New Orleans restaurants at the airport. Safety will remain the priority for us.”
For more information on open concessions at MSY, visit www.flymsy.com/concessions.
Here is the full list of concessions and their hours of operation.
Food and Beverage Concessions
Bar Sazerac, Concourse B, 7 a.m. until last departure on Concourse B
Cafe Du Monde, Outside Concourse B, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Chick-Fil-A, Outside Concourse C, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Chili’s, Concourse C, 8 a.m. until last departure on Concourse C
Cure, Concourse C, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays)
Dook’s, Concourse B, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Emeril’s Table, Concourse B, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Heritage Stage of Music, Concourse B, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed Tuesdays and Saturdays)
Lucky Dogs, Outside Concourse B, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lucky Dogs, Concourse C, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; Closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
Midway Pizza, Outside Concourse C, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Moisant Market, Outside Concourse B, 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed Tuesdays and Saturdays)
Mondo, Outside Concourse B, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays)
MoPho, Concourse B, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
PJ’s Coffee, Outside Concourse C, 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
Shake Shack, Outside Concourse B, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Starbucks, Outside Concourse B, 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
News, Gift and Specialty Retail Concessions
@MSY/Peet’s Coffee, Level 3 Ticketing, open various days and times
CNBC, Concourse B, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fleurty Girl, Concourse C, open various days and times
InMotion, Concourse C, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
New Stand, Outside Concourse C, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
New Stand and Peet’s Coffee, Concourse C, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
NOLA Couture, Concourse C, open various days and times
Parish Provisions, Baggage Claim, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Advocate, Outside Concourse B, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Scoreboard, Concourse B, open various days and times
Trip Advisor, Concourse C, open various days and times
Where Traveler, Concourse B, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Club MSY, Outside Concourse A, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.