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Midfield Concession Enterprises: Delivering World-Class Food to Customers on the Go
Midfield Concession Enterprises (MCE), a Romulus, Mich. based airport food service provider and restaurateur is capable of delivering world-class, quality food, management and customer service to any destination. As a female-owned-family-run business, MCE’s hands-on approach allows the company to bring freshness and innovative design to any client’s food service needs.
MCE was founded in 2000 by Andrea Hachem in anticipation of the grand-opening of the McNamara Terminal at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “I wanted to propose a first-of-its-kind Middle Eastern style restaurant in the airport,” explains Hachem. “I’d been involved in the restaurant business 20 years prior with my husband Dean, working primarily with Middle Eastern food.”
Hachem opened the Mediterranean Grill in Feb. 2002, immediately, it was a huge success. Since then, the restaurant has been one of the top performers at the airport, receiving many national awards.
“We have expanded from the original restaurant to 34 in seven major airports in all different categories, from fast food to brands such as Quiznos, Howie’s Pizza, Max & Erma’s and Champps Americana,” details Hachem. “We continued to grow, developing our own brand Sora Sushi.”
Today the company employs over 500 individuals who make it possible to service a broad range of the U.S., from Detroit to Philadelphia, Boston to Newark, N.J, San Jose, Calif. to Cleveland and in between.
A Continental Approach to Airport Dining
Despite rapid growth, the original ownership and dedication to world-class food and customer service remains the same. “Our goal is to provide healthy offerings to the traveling public,” shares Hachem.
“What really sets us apart is our attention to detail,” explains Samir Mashni, vice president of business development for MCE. The company’s business model is simple; focus on high-quality, customer oriented food service.
MCE has won many awards for its outstanding food and facility design. Mediterranean Grill offers authentic Middle Eastern fare and was awarded second place in the “Best New Food and Beverage Concept” by Airport Revenue News magazine. Meanwhile, Sora Sushi serves fresh Japanese cuisine, and was also recognized for original concepts by the magazine. MCE’s “The Pub” in the Cleveland location won the magazine’s “Best Design Concept” for 2011, along with the company’s “Cantina Loredo”, an upscale Mexican eatery, winning as well.
The company has a long list of restaurant affiliations, adding to the diversity of its services. Among these partnerships are; The Coffee Beanery, Green Leaf’s, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Mrs. Fields, Pasta Bravo, Wendy’s, Bananas, Legends, Water Works Bar & Grill, and Phillips.
Adapting and Continuing to Grow
The recession hit the travel industry hard, causing MCE’s business to suffer as well. “We’ve tightened operations,” shares Mashni. “It’s quite a rewarding industry to be in, but if you don’t pay close attention the costs can overcome you.”
Another challenge for MCE involves growing at a sustainable speed and hiring the management team needed to run so many restaurants. “It’s one thing to manage a single facility, it’s quite another to run 34 in seven different states,” details Mashni.
Keeping this in mind, the $40 million-a-year company is always looking to expand into new markets. “We’re very interested in Chicago, Denver, Tampa and Los Angeles,” shares Hachem. “We’re also in constant search of new methods to provide our customers with comfort, convenience and the best food quality.”
In the near future, MCE is building a Red Mango frozen yogurt chain in Philadelphia, along with increasing social media involvement in the business. “We want to bring in social media and apply it to the good and beverage industry,” describes Mashni. “We’re even in the midst of developing an app where consumers can preorder food from their smart phones.”
Hachem likes to think of the company’s overall success in terms of the “Wow” factor. “We firmly believe in that experience. Once a customer comes into our restaurant facility, we want them to feel like they are at home and they are very special,” stresses Hachem. “We want them to leave thinking ‘wow that was amazing’.”
Midfield Concession Enterprises’ vision is that 10-years-from-now, its delivery of world-class food service will bring a new chapter about in the industry, where travelers actually look forward to the dining experience in an airport setting.