City Hall

After Would-Be Love Field Vendors Complain, City Slashes Prices of Minimum Guarantees

No need to recap at this late date the messy process that led to city officials finally looking for new concessionaires at city-owned Love Field Airport, presently undergoing that extreme makeover expected to wrap in 2013. But the bidding process isn't going too smoothly either: Last month we noted that several would-be eat-n-drink vendors -- among them an unnamed "proud Dallas business ... excited about the prospect of partnering with Dallas Love Field to represent the brand" -- complained that the city was demanding far too much when it came to the minimum guaranteed payment due every year. Several said what they city was asking was " highly unrealistic" and "would be considered highest in the industry."

To which the city said: Fine, we'll adjust it. And it did. By a bunch.

Yesterday, the city posted yet another addendum to its bids website (the sixth, so far) that dramatically lowered the amount Dallas will expect from the 14 food and beverage spaces presently up for grabs. As in: If you'll go back and look at the very first RFP, the city originally set $201,000 as the minimum annual guarantee for the 1,765-square foot restaurant that will feature "Texas-Themed Cuisine." But according to yesterday's addendum, that figure's been cut almost in half -- to $111,195. Where the city once expected to make at least $173,000 annually from a "branded coffee" spot, it's now asking only $49,455. And that "Branded BBQ Quick Service" from which the city was once demanding $265,000 has dropped all the way down to $97,145.

If my math's right -- and it probably isn't -- the city initially expected to pocket at least $3.7 million annually from the food and beverage vendors. That number is now $1.89 million. But, of course, vendors always have the option of paying more -- because, after all, that will push 'em to the front of the line:

As a result of input from some potential proposers, the Minimum Annual Guarantee requirement has been adjusted to increase the competition among proposers, it has been set at the lowest level required to generate sufficient revenue from the food and beverage program to sustain airport operations. It is not based on sales projections, nor does it reflect the potential for each package. However, with this adjustment, the City will give greater weight in the evaluation criteria to those proposals that submit a MAG for a package that is above what the City has set as the minimum.
The whole revised chart follows -- for those who like to follow the money. Oh, and the deadline's been changed again: Bids, once due this week, aren't scheduled to be turned in till June 15. For now.

Love Field Concessions RFP Addenum No 6

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky