It’s getting competitive in Orange County, as companies are battling it out to become the county’s choice of food concession provider at the John Wayne Airport. The bidding war has now become controversial between Delaware North Companies and HMS Host International, both of which are the rival frontrunners. The bidding war has become quite a battle as the companies have attempted to outdo one another when it comes to guaranteeing the county a slice of the revenue pie. Delaware North Companies has upped the ante by saying it will give Orange County an additional $1 million per year in revenue. The OC Register points out that officials will be voting on January 11th to make a final decision on who will take up a spot at the airport. The Register also reports:
“Delaware North -- whose food bid includes adding Wahoo's Fish Taco and a John Wayne-themed grill -- is now guaranteeing the county an extra $10 million in revenue, or $34 million, over a 10-year period. ‘We're not buying the deal,’ said Nick Schaefer, Delaware North's director of business development. ‘We're basing it on a percentage of (attainable) sales.’ Translation: Delaware is essentially taking a smaller cut to win the food contract.”
Of course, HMS Host has already made an offer to the county that guarantees $39 million in revenue. But the President of Delaware North has pointed out that even though his company’s bid is lower than his rival’s, he believes HMS is likely to raise prices on customers. Notably, the county's Airport Commission unanimously told supervisors last month to go with HMS. For more, see here.