“The fare at our restaurants isn’t just great food for an airport — it’s great food.”

Steve Johnson

A member at Chantilly National Golf and Country Club, Centreville, Va., since 2013
BY ALEX ETHRIDGE / PHOTO BY JONATHAN TIMMES — Fall 2015
Who he is: President and CEO of HMSHost, a company that operates many of the food and beverage establishments in more than 100 airports worldwide — from Starbucks to upscale, local restaurants, such as Cool River Café at Dallas Love Field airport.

Job perks: Johnson has worked with celebrity chefs to create airport-friendly versions of their eateries, such as Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera at Chicago’s O’Hare International. “My job sometimes is just to go eat in restaurants, so that’s a blast.”

Local flavor: “Our goal is to help make the airports feel like the community they represent, because many times as a traveler, the only thing you really get to see of a city is the airport.”

Time is money: “Everything in an airport is driven by time,” he says. HMSHost is rolling out new systems, such as mobile tablets for servers to expedite ordering and paying, to get customers in and out as quickly as possible without compromising food quality.

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