British operator picks up €500m contract to run Dublin Airport outlets

SSP will run 24 food and drink outlets at airport following competitive tender

SSP will operate concessions across Dublin Airport terminals one and two. Photograph: DAA

SSP will operate concessions across Dublin Airport terminals one and two. Photograph: DAA


British multinational food operator SSP has won a 10-year contract worth about €500 million to operate food and beverage brands in Dublin Airport.

State-owned airport operator DAA launched a tender process in March 2019 to “transform” the food and drink offering across Dublin Airport’s two terminals. The tender documents published at the time indicated that the outlets would have an estimated turnover of €50 million per year.

SSP said on Wednesday they will only achieve revenues of between €40 million and €50 million by 2023, or three years into the contract when it has fully “mobilised” all of the units.

Offering one contract rather than multiple contracts was a new departure for DAA, aimed at giving it more flexibility over the 24 units at the airport. The group previously tendered separately for each outlet.

Under the deal with SSP, 24 separate brands will enter the airport, including Brody Sweeney’s Camile Thai, Offbeat Donuts, Cloud Picker Coffee, Bretzel Bakery and the previously announced 3fe coffee.

It is understood that brand changes across all outlets will come on a rolling basis, with the contract to cover both air-side and land-side areas.

Dublin Airport will later this year launch two further tenders. The first will be for up to 13 outlets, while a second package is looking for a specialist coffee operator to take over four units.

Ireland has a thriving food and drink scene and with this new partnership with SSP, Dublin Airport will be able to offer some really exciting Irish concepts to the travelling public,” said Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison.

Almost 100,000 passengers travel through Dublin Airport every day, with about 19,000 staff based on the campus.

Some of the units that went to tender included the Alcock and Brown and the Garden Terrace in Terminal 1, Harvest Market in Terminal 2, the Slaney Bar and the Chocolate Lounge in T2 and the Gate Clock in pier three.

It is unclear which of these will remain under SSP’s plans for the 4,000sq m covered by the agreement.

Bespoke line up

Richard Lewis, chief executive of SSP UK & Ireland, said the company was “thrilled to be working in partnership with Dublin Airport to enhance and elevate the food and beverage offering” at the airport.

“We are confident that our bespoke line-up will meet the diverse needs of all of our customers, providing a true Irish experience to the international traveller as well as those looking to enjoy a real taste of home.”

Under the deal, SSP will take over the operations of existing suppliers from early February. It has partnered with brands including Teeling Whiskey to create Whiskey Bread, a new all-day Irish bar and kitchen.

It has also previously partnered with brands such as Burger King, Starbucks and Jamie Oliver.

Ftse-listed SSP operates food and beverage concessions in a number of travel locations. It has businesses at about 180 airports and 300 rail stations, and operates more than 2,800 units in 35 countries.