Chick-fil-A won’t be included in KCI Airport’s new terminal after public concerns

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The company that will likely be chosen to manage food and concessions at Kansas City International Airport’s new terminal said its plan will no longer include Chick-fil-A.

Public protests lead to the fast food restaurant being ousted from the leading vendor’s proposal.

Representatives of the Vantage Airport Group presented their plan to the Kansas City Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee on Wednesday morning. The plan included details about contracts, workers being paid $15 an hour, and who is in charge of managing select restaurants.

The aviation department selected Vantage as its choice to run food and beverage operations at the terminal. Vantage told the city that it’s committed to having all restaurants and concession areas open on the first day the terminal is in business.

Vantage also said one of the reasons its proposal is the strongest — and the right one for Kansas City — is because of the flexibility it offers.

“We heard and respect the strong community reaction to the proposed Chick-fil-A, and after collaborating with the Aviation Department, we made the decision to remove Chick-fil-A from the program. We will work hard to find and identify suitable options for its replacement,” said Rob Van Snik, Senior Director of Commercial Development for Vantage.

The city’s LGBTQ Commission spearheaded the effort. Members sent a letter to city officials and city council members, asking the city to remove a Chick-fil-A location from the new KCI terminal plans.

“Happy to see Chick-Fil-A is not included,” LGBTQ Commission Vice Chair Justice Horn said.

Horn said there are two main concerns. The first is Chick-fil-A’s history of donating to organizations that do not support LGBTQ efforts.

The commission also said that if Chick-fil-A is at the airport, it takes away the opportunity for a locally owned business to be in that space.

“This is Kansas City’s airport, and we should welcome having more local restaurants here,” Horn said. “So with them now being out, this is now an opportunity for a local community member, a local business. That’s something I think is a win-win for us.”

FOX4 reached out to Chick-fil-A Wednesday morning for comment but did not hear back.

In 2020, the company announced it was shifting its charitable giving to focus more on education, food insecurity and homelessness.

Although Vantage decided to cut Chick-fil-A, the Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee has not approved sending the proposal to the full city council yet. It’s on hold in committee for another week.

Another aspect the aviation department is working on is to make sure travelers won’t be charged exorbitant prices while at the new terminal.

“We did not want the concession area to say, charge $8 for a bottle of water. So they have to do pricing on Barry Road at the QuikTrip as their measurement. So as you buy a bottle of water at QuikTrip, you can expect to pay the same price at the airport,” said Patrick Klein, Aviation Director.

Currently travelers pay 15% over prices you’ll see at stores if you buy beverages at KCI. If you buy retail items, you’ll pay a 30% higher price.

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