Dublin Airport to trial honesty-based food outlet

Passengers can select food and drink from unmanned fridge and pay at self-service checkout

Marqette, in Dublin Airport, will run an honesty-based food and drink take away trial in the airport this month

The decency of passengers making their way through Dublin Airport is to face a very stern test in the weeks ahead with the roll out of a new honesty-based food and drink outlet.

Dublin Airport Authority – buoyed by the success of a similar system for bottled water on the concourse – will trial an Honest Eats Co fridge, which will be stocked with sandwiches, wraps, salads, pastries, snacks and drinks.

There will be no staff manning the fridge and passengers will be allowed to pick whatever they want, scan it and pay for it via a cashless self-service checkout that accepts cards and mobile payment applications.

The fridge will be installed at Marqette’s airside location and will have a range of up to 73 different food and drink products. The fridge will send messages to the airport kitchens as sales are made to ensure that stock levels are maintained.

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"We are constantly seeking to improve the passenger experience at Dublin Airport and are delighted to be working with Marqette to trial the new Honest Eats concept," said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison.

"Honest Eats has the potential to work really well in an airport setting where passengers in a hurry want to grab high quality food and drink on the go," said Marqette owner Michael J Wright. "We're really excited to be working with Dublin Airport to test this new concept."

The trial will last for about four weeks and data will be shared at the upcoming InspireFest Conference in Dublin as part of a mini-hack competition to further refine and improve the Honest Eats concept.

Dublin Airport has operated an honesty payment system for its Plane Water brand since 2014 and has honesty water stations in several airside locations across both terminals.

The Plane Water honesty payment initiative was an instant success and has since been copied by several other airports. Typically, about 92 per cent of passengers pay the €1 charge for a 500ml bottle of water.

The initial trial Honest Eats outlet will be situated beside Marqette’s existing café in T1, but the longer-term plan is that small Honest Eats units could be located across Dublin Airport in areas that need a food and beverage offer but don’t have the space for a full café.

“We’re effectively testing a minimum viable version of the Honest Eats concept and we hope that data from the trial, coupled with the collective brain power of InspireFest attendees, will allow Dublin Airport and Marqette to develop this idea into a fully developed proposition that could be used both here in Dublin and potentially at other airports globally,” Mr Harrison said.

None of those involved in the trial have – as yet – outlined what, if any, consequences will be faced by those who abuse the system by filling their bags with free food before hotfooting it onto their planes.