17:43 PM

TPA launches new concessions recognition program to recognize frontline workers at shops, restaurants

The new program is designed to encourage and reward those employees who directly impact customer experience at TPA.

Since Tampa International Airport first opened its doors in 1971, the Airport has focused most on one thing: the customer experience. Nearly 50 years later, that’s still the case at TPA, thanks largely to the men and women who come to work every day with a focus on providing stellar service to the 22-million annual passengers who pass through the terminals.

Through efforts such as the Waypoint TPA guide and heightened service standards, TPA has raised the bar in retail and dining for its guests. Now, the Concessions Department is shifting its focus to those frontline workers who continue to ensure that customer service is a top priority. The Airport launched a new Concessions Recognition Program this month, ensuring those employees who go above and beyond get well-deserved recognition and know they’re a part of a larger team working together.

“We want to not only give employees the tools to succeed,” said Nina Mahoney, Senior Manager of Airport Concessions, “but we want to reward them as well.”

The new program concessions recognizes employees on a daily, monthly and annual basis with gifts ranging from gift cards, lapel pins, certificates and small items like a free coffee or Chapstick.

“If they’re smiling a lot, they’ll need that Chapstick,” Nina added.

In February of 2019, the Airport cut the last ribbon on the 70 new shops, restaurants and spas. Throughout the expansion, the TPA team wanted to ensure passenger satisfaction was at the forefront of their work, so passengers were asked to rate their satisfaction of restaurants and shops on an array of aspects such as overall satisfaction, speed of service, friendliness of staff and cleanliness on a 5-tiered Likert scale, a commonly used metric designed to gauge a customer’s experience. Results reached a score of 4.6 out of 5, and the Concessions team wanted to keep encouraging that success with the recognition program geared toward the workers who interfaced most with guests.

In the program, managers are encouraged to recognize exemplary work at all levels and can also nominate their employees for monthly recognition which will include a breakfast and a short awards ceremony. This encourages managers to be aligned with their teams as well, Mahoney explained.

The new program kicked off on Tuesday, August 20, with a one-day event in the Airport Marriott. Concessions employees and managers gathered to listen to hospitality company owner and author, Michel Falcon as he encouraged the audience on ways to build on their success. Falcon works with companies to better customer experience and employee engagement.

“We felt that bringing someone who’s in the industry and understands their business would help them get inspired and shape their stories,” Nina said.

Since the event, more than 50 concessions employees have reached out to Falcon – a testament to their engagement and interest in enhancing the TPA customer experience.