The Port of Seattle has changed the way it evaluates bids for airport concessionaires, following a battle with Ivar's in which their release was not renewed.
In a news release Wednesday, Ivar's said it supports the changes and plans to apply in the next round of bids this summer for space within the airport.
"The Port commissioners and staff recognized the Port needed to make its process better and they have done so," Ivar's president Bob Donegan said.
Port commissioners approved the following changes:
- Adding points for customer preference and customer service
- Changing the way points are earned for creating a Northwest Sense of Place
- Changing the way points are awarded for capital investment
“We want the airport to reflect what we love best about the Northwest and provide top notch service during construction,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. “We value the experience and customer service focus of Ivar’s, Wendy’s and Maki’s of Japan, and are eager to continue that partnership during construction in the Central Terminal."
Donegan said more than 11,000 restaurant customers or supporters emailed and called the Port of Seattle over the last few weeks, thanking them for their support.
“We’re humbled by the massive outpouring of community support to keep Ivar’s at SeaTac, from Renton to Reykjavik and Kenmore to Kazakhstan. This support made us happier than clams at high tide," Donegan said.
In the meantime, the Port has asked Ivar's to help serve travelers when the Central Terminal renovation begins in January. Donegan said the Port found a creative solution – food carts – to keep Ivar's open as long as it can be.
"We'll also look at what kind of cart or kiosk could keep customers in chowder during construction," he said.
The Port of Seattle also offered food cart or kiosk options to Wendy's and Maki of Japan, which are slated to close alongside Ivar's in early 2018.