D/FW Concessionaires May Get More Help

D/FW officials are quietly asking American -- the dominant market-share leader -- to spread its flights more evenly across gates.

Although Aranza said that was a big help, he still had to close a Pizza Hut store and a Seattle's Best Coffee stand in Terminal E because of poor sales after Delta cut its schedule there. Delta shrunk its service from 28 gates to four.

Aranza has three concession stands open in the terminal. But even those didn't do well last year.

The Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop near gate E13 generated about $350,000 in revenue but should have drawn closer to $1 million, he says. But he's glad to have other stores.

"If I didn't have units in Terminal C picking up the slack, I'd be in really bad shape," he said.

That seems to be the biggest difference between concessionaires who are getting by and others who are struggling, Buchanan said.

"Most of our concessionaires are part of [multistore] packages," he told the board. "So I don't want to say all the concessionaires are in desperate situations."

Buchanan estimated in an interview that fewer than 10 concessionaires are suffering badly. But all are struggling to some extent, D/FW officials and concessionaires say.

"We're seeing exactly what others are seeing," said Dawn Labasco, president of Texas Pretzels, which owns six Auntie Anne's stores, including a pair in Terminal D. "I would just like to see more flights."

Her north Terminal D store is profitable, but she estimates that her south-side store is one of the lowest volume Auntie Anne shops in the 800-store nationwide chain.

Despite their troubles, concessionaires said they are confident that better days are ahead. "It's not fun," Aranza said. "I just think, over time, flights will pick up and passengers will pick up."

Fort Worth Star Telegram

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