Denver, CO

Denver considers making airport food delivery program permanent

David Heitz

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By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) A pilot program with a company that delivers food to passengers and employees of Denver International Airport may become permanent.

The City Council will consider a revenue agreement with Grab AtYourGate JV LLC on Monday to operate EatsDelivered. With EatsDelivered, customers order food from participating airport restaurants through an app that is delivered anywhere at the airport.

The airport has operated a pilot program for EatsDelivered with Grab AtYourGate since last year. "During the pilot, DEN was the busiest airport in the AtYourGate network nationwide," according to a memo from city staff to the council.

The vendor collects a delivery fee from the customer ($3.99 for DEN employees and $4.99 for customers), and DEN receives 5 percent. Only one vendor will get a delivery contract.

"It is imperative for DEN to enter an agreement with a single vendor who will own the process from beginning to end; a single vendor who will provide order and payment services, as well as employ their own staff to be stationed at DEN who will complete the final delivery of goods sold," according to the memo. "This single-vendor approach allows for complete ownership of the program and a single point of reference for all services."

Airport gets $80,000 annually in delivery revenue

According to the revenue agreement the council will consider Monday, the airport would get $80,000 annually from Grab AtYourGate for three years through 2025. There also are options to extend the contract by one year for two years.

Stacey Stegman, senior vice president of communications at the airport, demonstrated the pilot program's success in a council presentation.

The program:

· Demonstrated an ability to avoid lines and proximity to other travelers during the pandemic.

· Offered a touchless payment option completed through the delivery website or app, eliminating the need to hand over a credit card or cash to a concession’s employee.

· Offered more food choices because customers could order from restaurants beyond their departure or arrival concourse.

30 minutes average delivery time

Stegman says delivery time averages 30 minutes, and customers can choose from 13 restaurants at launch. The app will show delivery times before customers place an order.

Menu prices mirror those at sit-down restaurants, and most entrees are available for delivery. Customers receive a text when the food arrives at the gate so they can find the delivery person.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at local newspapers in Los Angeles, Detroit, and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am living proof that people can rebound from mental illness with proper treatment, even after experiencing homelessness. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living here.

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