EGLIN AFB — Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport will soon be the new home of two popular local and national restaurants.
The Okaloosa County Commission approved a non-exclusive contract Tuesday with a new management company for concession food, beverage and retail. Faber, Coe & Gregg of Florida Inc. was granted the contract after promising to bring multiple Dunkin' Donuts and a U.S. Air Force veteran owned Slick Mick's to the airport by the end of the year.
"Faber came in very strong with proposed returns to the airport," county Airports Director Tracy Stage said. "The partnerships with local companies and highly sought-after national businesses will do very well in the airport."
The first and largest Dunkin' Donuts at the airport will be in the main terminal lobby, according to Stage. The eatery will be adjacent to a new news and gifts shop — Markets and VPS — which Faber will also construct.
"That Dunkin' Donuts will serve hot and cold breakfast items," Stage said. "They will have their world famous coffee and, of course, doughnuts."
Stage said the build-out will begin in the fall.
But Stage said that is not all Faber plans to do.
On the second floor B Concourse will be a food truck-style Dunkin' Donuts and a Slick Mick's, a Fort Walton Beach-based sub shop. Those two eateries will replace Quiznos, which is currently open at the airport under the 15-year-long management company, Hudson News.
Two more Market at VPS shops will be spread throughout the airport. They also will have doughnut stands.
The new restaurants and shops are part of a $1.9 million capital investment to renovate the existing retail, food and beverage locations. Under the new contract, the airport will earn 17% for retail and food and 20% for alcohol sales, including a mandated $350,000 minimum annual guarantee and 1% kicker on subsequent year's sales increases per category.
The existing agreement with Hudson News earns the airport 8% on retail and food and 10% on alcohol sales and commission revenue.
Faber is expected to have a 58% financial increase over Hudson News, which assumes only moderate growth during the transition period. That revenue is used to fund capital improvement projects and operations and maintenance of the airport.
Not all restaurants at the airport, however, are leaving.
The Emerald Coast Bar & Grill, contracted under a separate management company, will remain. The bar and grill supports both land side and air side at the airport, Stage said.
Three management companies, including Faber and Hudson News, bid for the concession food, beverage and retail contract. The companies gave presentations to a selection committee, which then made its choice based off on the total of each committee member's scores from the presentations.
The commissioners unanimously approved the committee's choice at the board meeting Tuesday morning.