Food and beverage outlet operator SSP Group secures 10-year contract with Liverpool John Lennon Airport and will invest £9m to increase its capacity by almost 50%. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) has awarded a new 10-year contract to existing food and beverage (F&B) outlet operator SSP Group.
SSP already operates eight F&B outlets out of a total of 10 at the airport and this new deal will extend its relationship with LJLA to 2036. Now the company is to spend £9m transforming its facilities.
This year sees the arrival of Jet2 at Liverpool with an extra 54 flights a week and this is expected to push annual passenger numbers back above the 5m mark. This, in turn, will see a surge in demand for F&B, as well as retail, in the departure lounge.
As part of its investment into its airport estate, SSP says all of its existing units will be refurbished, rebranded or extended, and additional outlets will be created. This will increase the capacity of SSP’s restaurants by almost half.
The initial phase of the expansion includes a high-end eatery called Sable & Co Bar and Kitchen. This will be located on the mezzanine level after World Duty Free and is scheduled to open in the spring.
It will offer a food and drink menu curated to showcase the best of local ingredients and suppliers, served in a “design-led” environment.
A new Burger King and a bar concept called Tap & Brew (which will serve a wide range of local craft beers alongside international favourites) opened at the end of last year.
Next phase will see a refurbishment of an existing Upper Crust and a Starbucks coffee shop. SSP will also create an American-style diner offering an all-day menu. And the popular Kissing Gate pub will be extended.
Kari Daniels, chief executive of SSP UK & Ireland, said: “This development is testament to the high standard of our offer over the time we’ve been operating at Liverpool John Lennon.
“We’ve built strong relationships with the team here, and we’re delighted to be working closely with them now to make the F&B offer at this great UK airport even better.
“We’re very much looking forward to welcoming passengers at our fabulous new bars, restaurants and cafes.”
In October 2023 LBN revealed LJLA had achieved pre-tax profits of £4.54m for the 12 months to March 31, 2023, after revenues more than doubled to £35.66m, signalling. A strong post-pandemic recovery.
Lucy O’Shaughnessy, commercial director at LJLA, added: “This investment will give the growing numbers of passengers choosing to fly from the region’s faster, easier, friendlier airport a wider choice of food and beverage facilities.”