City Council green lights food and retail concession contracts for new international terminal at Bush Airport

From Common Bond Bakery to a LEGO store, 26 concessions will elevate the travel experience, create nearly 400 jobs inside one of the newest and most modern international terminals in the United States.

August 22, 2022
Renderings of the LEGO store and The Kitchen help to visualize the retail and culinary options inside the new international terminal at Bush Airport.
Renderings of the LEGO store, which will operate under the Paradies Lagardère contract, and The Kitchen help to visualize the retail and culinary options inside the new international terminal at Bush Airport. Image to the left provided by Paradies Lagardère. Image to the right provided by SSP America. 

HOUSTON - The passenger experience for millions of travelers will soon be elevated at the new international terminal, currently under construction, at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, IAH. Houston Airports is enhancing its world-class experience by offering a new selection of diverse culinary and retail options.  

On Wednesday, Houston City Council gave final approval on a retail concessions contract at IAH to travel retailer Paradies Lagardère. Last week, City Council approved another concessions contract for food and beverage to food travel specialist SSP America. The two 10-year agreements are projected to generate as much as $116 million in revenue for Houston Airports. These new food, beverage and retail options are expected to create at least 390 jobs spread across 26 concession locations.  

The new lineup reflects the ambitious goal of Houston Airports to offer brands that meet the guiding principles of our concessions vision for the new international terminal: 

  • Achieve exceptional customer service and offer a five-star experience 
  • Offer greater variety and quality for international passengers  
  • Increase opportunities for local operators 
  • Encourage innovative, unique and exciting concepts  
  • Showcase Houston as a premier, world-class destination  
  • Create a sense of place within the airport  

“As one of the biggest and most modern airport facilities in the country, the new international terminal at IAH deserves the best dining and shopping experiences,” Houston Aviation Director Mario Diaz said. “As we expand our reach across the world, offering unique local, regional and national concepts ensures all customers will experience Houston’s diverse and vibrant flavors without ever having to leave the airport.”  

With customer service and operational excellence top of mind, SSP America has agreed to develop and operate 16 food and beverage concession locations inside the new international terminal. As a long-standing partner, SSP America has a proven track-record of successfully operating concessions at Houston Airports.  

“SSP America began our Houston operations in 2008, and we’ve been proud members of the IAH community every day since then,” said Pat Murray, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at SSP America. “Most of our partners and many of our team members have been with us since we expanded operations in 2014. Houston has been an incredibly important part of our growth as a company. It’s hard to describe just how honored we are by the opportunity to create 340 new jobs for local residents. We have a tremendous passion for service and will continue to do all we can to support the IAH mission and goals.” 

The new food and beverage program will feature a combination of local Houston flavor and national brands, specially curated so that the offerings are well-balanced, robust and meet the international traveler’s needs. The local concepts include iconic Houston landmarks The Annie Café & Bar, The Kitchen (Woodlands, TX) and Common Bond Bakery and Café, complemented by tried-and-true national favorites like Chili’s and MOD Pizza. 

A rendering helps to bring to life Jetero Market, a uniquely Houston retail experience, and the IAH location of The Annie, an iconic Houston restaurant.
A rendering helps to bring to life Jetero Market, a Paradies Lagardère retail shop, a uniquely Houston retail experience, and the IAH location of The Annie, an iconic Houston restaurant. Image to the left provided by Paradies Lagardère. Image to the right provided by SSP America. 

Paradies Lagardère, which is also already operating concessions at Houston Airports, will develop and operate 10 new retail concession locations inside the new international terminal. 

“We appreciate our partnership with Houston Airports and are thrilled with the opportunity to deliver an amazing retail program for the George Bush Intercontinental Airport that will generate more than 50 new jobs and over 100 total jobs in the Houston community,” said Gregg Paradies, President and CEO of Paradies Lagardère. “We’re confident that our incredible designs, great blend of recognized national brands and popular local concepts, support of the local community, and leading innovation will fully endorse Houston’s vision of being a five-star global service gateway.” 

Paradies Lagardère embraced the opportunity to curate a selection of national brands, local brands and even a one-of-a-kind news and retail shop to ensure that all guests will be satisfied, no matter their desire. The new retail program will have an exciting new lineup of stores including Houston Supply Co., Uno de 50, Be Relax (spa service), LEGO and iStore.  

In addition, Jetero Market, developed by Paradies Lagardère to celebrate the eclectic history and culture of Houston and IAH, is named after a group of Houston businessmen and civic leaders who purchased the site for IAH. The story of that undertaking will be showcased inside the store, alongside exclusive souvenirs and gifts crafted by Texas artisans.  

Innovation is also at the forefront of the new concessions program. Both operators have committed to implementing new technologies such as self-ordering kiosks, 24/7 access to offerings for delayed passengers, and potential opportunities to implement gate service and advanced ordering systems. 

“All of the important boxes have been checked off,” said Diaz of the concession concepts that ensure a decidedly Houston feel  inside the new state-of-the art international facility which will boast 17 TSA security lanes, more wide-body gates to welcome larger airplanes and the ability to accommodate even more international flights.  

The contracts for both SSP America and Paradies Lagardère will begin upon substantial completion of the new international terminal. 



The construction of the international terminal at Bush Airport, formally known as the IAH Terminal Redevelopment Program, ITRP, started in 2015 with a series of enabling projects. It advanced significantly in 2020 with the closing of the Terminal D/E parking garage for demolition in order to make room for the expansion of the Mickey Leland International Terminal (MLIT) with a new International Central Processor. Once complete, the International Central Processor will house ticketing counters, baggage claims and a 17-lane security checkpoint that will be one of the largest in the country. Attached to MLIT will be a new concourse and a fully renovated Terminal D, with updated facilities where travelers can board their planes, relax in the many lounges, or explore dining vendors. ITRP also includes the building of a brand new D West Concourse space that houses 10 new narrow-body gates. It will also accommodate up to 6 wide-body aircraft simultaneously. Due to be substantially completed in late 2024, ITRP will accommodate international airline growth, resolve current and future roadway and curbside capacity constraints and vastly improve the baggage handling system.



Houston Airports is the City of Houston’s Department of Aviation. Comprised of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, IAH, William P. Hobby Airport, HOU, and Ellington Airport/Houston Spaceport, EFD, Houston Airports served 45 million passengers in 2021 and nearly 60 million in 2019. Houston Airports forms one of North America’s largest public airport systems and positions Houston as the international passenger and cargo gateway to the South-Central United States and as a primary gateway to Latin America. Houston’s Hobby Airport is the first and only 5-star airport in North America and Bush Airport maintained an exceptional 4-star rating for a fifth consecutive year.


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