City releases plan to entice airport shops to rehire workers

Austin airport planned Salt Lick_427314

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Workers at food and beverage shops inside Austin-Bergstrom International Airport are getting back to work, and the city has a plan to make it easier for the shops to bring them back.

A plan released in a city memo by Aviation Department Executive Director Jacqueline Yaft says her department is offering incentives to companies that sell concession in the airport through fee deferments and investing in online ordering infrastructure for businesses.

The fee deferments, coupled with a reduction in minimum annual guaranteed fees, total $9.5 million, with $4.5 million by way of fee deferments for April, May and June. More deferments will be offerd for July, August and September, also.

The Aviation Department will also invest $15,000 to encourage passengers to use an online ordering and payment system for food, drinks and other retail items in the airport. It would also allow airport shops to deliver the orders to almost anywhere inside the terminal.

The airport has already spent $20,000 on an online marketing campaign called #AUSReady4You that will try to “increase passenger confidence and promote travel through AUS by creating a safe travel experience and promoting social distancing, disinfecting and sanitation stations throughout the airport terminal,” the memo says.

Part of the initiative includes installing plexiglass separators at ticket counters and gate-hold rooms, as well as social distancing signage.

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