Celebrating the best in travel dining: FAB 2020 Awards categories announced

TURKEY/INTERNATIONAL. The categories for the FAB 2020 Awards, which celebrate the best in travel dining worldwide, have been announced. Award nominations, now open, close on Friday 5 April. To help assess performance, any nominated outlet must have been trading by 1 October 2019.

As reported, this year’s Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards will be hosted by Istanbul Airport on 23-24 June 2020. The event will be supported strongly by Tum & Ictur, the concessionaire managing 34,000sq m of food & beverage space at Istanbul Airport, and be organised by The Moodie Davitt Report.

The official FAB 2020 website – Airportfab.events – is now live, marking the opening of nominations. Hotel bookings (once the official hotel is confirmed soon) and the conference registration process are also detailed on the website.

The full list of award categories appears below.

The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie said: “This year’s awards have been divided into four key areas – outlet-led, campaign-led, innovation-led and people-led – all judged both internationally and regionally. The judges will be majoring on innovation; performance, quality of offer, environment and service; environmental responsibility; and offers that we think genuinely raise the standard of airport food & beverage.”

The judging panel, to be named shortly, will draw from a range of expertise including airport, culinary, drinks, wellbeing, design and trends. Guest judges with specific knowledge and experience will help assess certain awards, joining a central judging panel.

There are several new awards categories for 2020, including F&B Team of the Year and The FAB Hall of Fame Award, which builds on previous categories that have recognised the outstanding contributions of individuals. Another new category is Airport Pub of the Year – as distinct from Airport Bar of the Year – which recognises a key industry segment.

A key focus in the awards categories this year is to recognise F&B offers in airports of all sizes, with many categories now split by passenger traffic level. As always, regional winners will also be revealed across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East & Africa (full details to follow soon).

Best of airport F&B: The 2019 awards winners at last year’s event in Dallas

Here are the awards categories in full:

The Environmental Initiative Award

This award recognises the growing importance and awareness of the need to run sustainable operations, and will be won by the most outstanding initiative that benefits the environment. Last year, SSP Sweden was named winner for its all-round commitment to sustainability and initiatives to tackle energy and food waste.

The FAB Instagrammable Experience Award

Instagram is the ideal platform to showcase a restaurant or bar’s brilliant food, looks or design features, and this award celebrates the concept that most makes travellers get out their phones and share a ‘wow’ moment. OTG’s stunning Yume Asian Kitchen & Market at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport was the winner in 2019.

The FAB Hall of Fame Award

The FAB Awards has honoured individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry since its inception, with retired SSP executive and industry veteran Nick Inkster winning a special award in Dallas [The Outstanding Career Contribution to Airport Food and Beverage Award]. A Hall of Fame has now been created – with an industry legend to be inducted this year.

Click here to read a special edition of the FAB eZine dedicated to the FAB conference and awards held in Dallas in June 2019

Airport Health-Centred Food & Beverage Offer of the Year

Healthy eating and wellbeing are no longer just trends – they are mainstays of any good F&B offer and of vital importance to a growing number of travellers. Mission Yogurt’s Root Down at Denver International Airport was named winner in 2019, with the concept praised for putting as much focus on sustainability and healthy, vegan food as it does on customer experience.

Airport Juice Bar of the Year

Continuing the healthy eating theme, this category recognises an increasingly essential F&B concept type – one which does not necessarily require a great deal of space but can have a major impact. Lagardère Travel Retail’s Natoo concept at Venice Marco Polo Airport was recognised in 2019 for the way it innovatively fuels passengers’ health and happiness.

Airport Coffee or Tea Shop of the Year

Always a competitive category, with many outstanding concepts around the world, Areas’ Urth Caffé at Los Angeles International Airport took the overall prize in Dallas.

[Click on the icon to view the highlights of FAB 20219 in Dallas and Fort Worth]

Airport ‘Food to Go’ of the Year

Another vital element of an airport’s F&B offer, food to go concepts offer an opportunity for innovation, experience and outstanding design – but with speed of service also essential. HWH Investments’ acclaimed Flour +Stone at DXB exemplifies this equation and was a worthy winner in this category last year.

Airport Bar of the Year (over and under 15 million passengers)

A memorable bar should have top-class atmosphere and hospitality, and of course, a superb array of beverages. Mikkeller at Copenhagen Airport was named best bar overall in 2019 as well as in the Over 15 million Passengers category. TRG Concessions’ Brewdog at Edinburgh International Airport was recognised in the Under 15 million Passengers category.

Airport Pub of the Year (over and under 15 million passengers)

A new category for 2020, this award will honour the airport F&B industry’s best pub. The award has been created in acknowledgement of the difference in experience between a pub and other kinds of bar – with both types worthy of recognition.

The FAB Innovation Award

This award celebrates the concept which has brought the most new ideas and innovations to the travel food & beverage industry. Auckland Airport’s ambitious Glamp Grounds Bar & Kitchens was the winner in Dallas, with the airport recognised for its vision and delivery of an engaging and memorable F&B experience.

FAB 2020 will be a showcase for Turkish culture and cuisine, with guests having the opportunity to sample the many delights of Istanbul

Airport Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year (over and under 15 million passengers)

This is another hugely popular and competitive category, and there are sure to be some excellent, innovative and varied nominations this year. Lagardère Travel Retail’s Teppan at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, created in collaboration with two Michelin-starred celebrity chef Thierry Marx, won last year. The category will be another split into over and under 15 million passengers awards for 2020.

Airport Food Hall of the Year (over and under 15 million passengers)

Food halls offer a vibrant hub of activity and dining excellence, and we have seen a number of fantastic openings across the world in recent years. The 2019 winner, Lagardère Travel Retail’s The Daily DXB, is among the very best.

New Food & Beverage Concept of the Year (over and under 15 million passengers)

This award recognises the most exceptional new opening over the last year, and has also been split into two for 2020, recognising concepts in airports with both over and under 15 million passengers. Retail Services’ Haytu seafood bar at Jorge Chávez International Airport won the award in Dallas.

F&B Marketing & Promotions (Traditional and Digital) Campaigns of the Year (over and under 15 million passengers)

There were plenty of impressive high-profile campaigns nominated in 2019, and judges noted how traditional marketing was increasingly being blended with social media. That trend is sure to continue for the FAB 2020 Awards. Changi Airport’s Discover the Fun Side of Changi with Sesame Street was a worthy winner last year.

The spectacular new Istanbul Airport houses an eclectic dining offer run by partners Tum & Ictur and BTA

Airport Food & Beverage Offer Best Reflecting Sense of Place (over and under 15 million passengers)

Despite varying definitions, Sense of Place is undoubtedly a critical concept in today’s airport world. That was reflected by the sheer number of entries for FAB 2019, with HWH Investments’ S34 at DXB coming out on top. a feast of the senses. The concept transports guests to Dubai’s Bastakiya district and is a triumphant expression of what airport F&B can dare to be.

The FAB Judges’ Distinction Awards

As in past years, the FAB judges will honour worthy concepts, companies, initiatives or individuals in special awards which will be revealed on the night of the gala ceremony and dinner in Istanbul.

F&B Team Member of the Year

The unsung heroes of our industry are recognised in this category – those individuals who make their employers proud and their colleagues and consumers happy. Tastes on the fly’s Antonio Alicea was the 2019 winner.

F&B Team of the Year

Taking into account the contributions of both front and back of house, this new award will celebrate the best F&B team from around the world in what is set to be a hotly-contested category.

Outstanding Airport Restaurant Design of the Year (under 15 million and over 15 million)

This award was introduced in 2018 and recognises the critical role that design plays in creating ambience and customer experience. It has been split this year to recognise dazzling designs in both large and smaller airports.

Airport Food & Beverage Offer of the Year (under 5 million, 5-15 and 15+ plus)

The most sought-after prize in the F&B industry was captured by Auckland Airport in 2019. Judges praised its mix of top-quality food, delivered in spectacular style, and its new concepts infused with a healthy dose of innovation. The award has been split into three for 2020, by number of passengers, while an overall winner will also be named.


FAB, conceived, owned and organised by The Moodie Davitt Report, is the only event dedicated to the burgeoning airport food & beverage business. Since its launch in 2011, FAB has flourished and become the key global gathering for a constantly evolving sector, serving as a litmus test of its challenges, opportunities and quality aspirations.

FAB 2020 will be hosted by Istanbul Airport with strong support from Tum & Ictur, the concessionaire managing 34,000sq m of food & beverage space at the Istanbul gateway, on 23-24 June 2020. The event will be a showcase for the magnificent new hub, which opened in April 2019. It will bring together senior executives from airports and food & beverage concessionaires worldwide as well as varied industry partners, including design agencies, research companies and technology providers.

The conference programme will showcase the latest F&B developments, innovations and trends at major airports, featuring presentations by some of the world’s leading airport commercial directors, concessionaires, chefs, key industry opinion leaders and analysts.

For speaking opportunities, please reach out to Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com. For commercial and sponsorship opportunities please contact FAB Publisher Sarah Genest at Sarah@MoodieDavittReport.com.

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