No matter how cold and blustery it gets this winter, passengers and employees at Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) will still be able to enjoy the wildly popular food truck trend that is sweeping the nation. This summer, the Twin Cities airport transformed a traditional food court in its Lindbergh Terminal into an indoor urban alleyway, complete with faux brick walls, decorative outdoor lighting and four full-size food trucks.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission, which operates MSP, is excited about how the unique concept has fared since its June debut. "This project has allowed us to create an ambiance and a feeling like you've never quite experienced in an airport before," explains Liz Grzechowiak, assistant director of Concessions and Business Development. "We wanted people to transcend from the busy concourse...into what feels like an urban landscape. And it's been received extraordinarily well."

Total development cost was $3 million, and the new concession is expected to generate about $5 million in revenue during its first year.
Notably, MSP's 4,000-square-foot Food Truck Alley occupies a nondescript area that otherwise had limited development potential due to its narrow width and lack of depth. When considering options for the oddly configured space, the airport chose to follow a national trend of "experiential retail," explains Grzechowiak. Although they require less square footage than traditional vendors, the food trucks are expected to generate similar financial results-and they offer customers a unique experience, she notes.