With luxe lounges and bars, TFS is to change the flavour of Chennai airport
The Chennai Intern-ational Airport may have got a makeover, but the heart of what makes any stint at the airport bearable—the food—still gives us heartburn. However, the days of limp lettuce, dry cheese and cold food will soon be in the past. Travel Food Services (the name behind restaurant chains like the Copper Chimney) has won the bid to manage the airport’s food and beverage operations. “After over 40 years in the F&B business, we entered the travel sector a few years ago. We are already one of the leading food and beverage operators because we focus on customised packages for all kinds of travellers,” says Varun Kapur, TFS’ executive director.
Ready for take-off
The recent buzz about the shiny new Terminal 2 at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport makes us wish we were next in line. Kapur does not disappoint on the food front. He says TFS, which plans to kick off the first stage of services this month, has big plans for Chennai’s terminals. “Right now, there are only kiosks. We plan to bring in food courts, restaurants like Copper Chimney, lounges and, of course, bars,” says Kapur, who adds that he’s taking inspiration from some of his favourite airports around the world — like Dubai, Hong Kong and Zurich. “We are also looking at bars with a more pub-like ambience. The Irish House will be coming to Chennai, so there will be great music, food, sports and draught beer,” explains Kapur. Another feature he is excited about is the company’s plans of opening live kitchens. “We are still working out the logistics, but we want to give customers a chance to have full meals hot off the stove,” he says.
Lounge in luxury
For the traveller in pursuit of luxury, TFS is also planning high-end lounges. “The focus will be on great ambience, personalised care, and good quality food,” says Kapur. “They will be benchmarked with the best in the world.” Also expect staples like wi-fi, work stations and comfortable lounge chairs to kick back in. Though he cannot reveal much more about the brands TFS is bringing in (they are still finalising a few), Kapur assures us that there will be an enviable mix of players. “An airport needs to be representative of the city. So travellers can look forward to a good mix of local players and international chains,” he concludes.
Surya Praphulla Kumar