Bisoux Market in LGA (New York) offers grab-and-go as well as an eat-in area featuring OTG’s iconic iPad ordering
and payment method, which also allows diners to keep track of their flight status. Delayed? Order another beer.
WHILE THE NEWS about a thriving airport market is worth celebrating,
the challenge for designers and retailers alike is striking a balance
between two very different customers with needs that are essentially
polar opposites of one another.
“We’ve got two core travelers,” explains George Waite, program
manager at Columbus, Ohio-based Chute Gerdeman. “The rushed
or hurried person who might be late or stressed on the way to a
quick connection—maybe doesn’t have a lot of time, wants to have
grab-and-go options, get in and out—vs. the more leisurely traveler.
How do you entertain them, let them relax and enjoy themselves
as much as they can in that kind of a situation?”
Catering to differing end users may seem tricky, but it need not
be overly complicated. People carrying multiple pieces of baggage
or traveling with children likely experience additional stress, so a few
simple design decisions can go a long way to alleviate their tension,
says Melissa Mizell, senior associate at Gensler.
“As much as we can make the airport environment and the retail and
concessions environment as easy as possible to navigate, as clutter-free,
well curated, with plenty of space to walk by with your luggage—all of
these things can help entice people in and help them relieve stress,”
“Removing the stress from travel is a key objective,” adds Nick
Giammarco, creative principal of retail strategies for studio|H2G.
“Relaxation areas, piano bars, entertainment, and social zones along
with the use of technology are key components to successful retail
His firm has created gate-hold seating areas as part of the brand
experience. “One will be able to sit in a branded gate-hold area, order
online from integrated iPads, and the food can be either delivered to
your seat or you will be notified that your order is ready,” he explains.
Planning for technology is also about removing pain points. Among
the biggest complaints from travelers about airports is the lack of places
to charge mobile devices, which exacerbates their stress. So architects and
designers need to pay careful attention to space planning that supplies
easy access to power.
“As we move to a more digital age, everyone has a digital device with
them. So how do you create zones that let customers sit down and plug
in or feel safe to leave their device if they were to charge it and grab a
couple of things in a retail store or restaurant?” muses Waite. “Adding
power is not even a bonus anymore. It’s an expected amenity.”
BALANCING ACT: A TALE OF TWO TRAVELERS