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Taffer’s Tavern to open airport locations in Metro-Washington, DC

Jon Taffer’s pub-style, casual-dining chain has partnered with concessions operator Raj Gandhi

Taffer’s Tavern, will open new locations at Washington, DC Metro locations after partnering with concessions operator Raj Gandhi, and also debut a traditional, pub-style restaurant in DC’s Penn Quarter neighborhood. The Taffer’s Tavern franchise venture, founded by the host of Paramount Network’s “Bar Rescue” and hospitality expert, Jon Taffer, has signed an agreement with Gandhi for multiple airport units. These non-traditional stores follow the opening of a concession location in September at FedEx Field, which is the home of the NFL Washington Football Team.

At the Dulles International Airport (IAD), Gandhi operates the Firkin & Fox, and is currently scoping the next Taffer’s Tavern location. As a reference point, in 2019, IAD and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) collectively had nearly 50 million annual passengers travel through the facilities, noted Taffer’s Tavern. Travel has gradually returned after the pandemic: the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reports that DCA on its own saw domestic commercial passenger activity increase 205.6% in August 2021 compared to the same period one year earlier.

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Plus, Taffer’s Tavern is readying the opening of a full-service restaurant within the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, adjacent to the Capital One Arena. Taffer continues to work with franchise development firm Fransmart, which helped propel brands like Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Qdoba Mexican Grill.

“Busy airports have tens of thousands of hungry travelers passing through the terminals each day. An airport location will allow people from all over the world to see and experience the Taffer’s Tavern brand as we continue to open full-service and non-traditional restaurant locations in some of the busiest areas throughout the country,” said Taffer. “I designed Taffer’s Tavern to provide consistent, high-quality casual dining with state-of-the-art technology. I’m so excited about working with a proven full-service airport operator like Raj to bring Taffer’s Tavern to an airport setting, which will greatly benefit from these built-in efficiencies.”

Taffer’s Tavern says its kitchens are tech-enabled, minimizing the need for food preparation and handling, which reduces back-of-house labor. Also, the innovative and simplified cooking techniques allows restaurants to staff with less-skilled kitchen staff and helps reduce cook time by 50% to 90%, when compared to traditional kitchens, the dining chain reports.

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“With the return to travel underway, I strongly believe that Taffer’s Tavern will thrive at any airport. An airport is not just a hub for airplanes and airstrips anymore, nowadays it provides an enjoyable and memorable travel experience that starts long before customers arrive at the terminal. Patrons are looking for unique style dining options with quality food, which is exactly what Taffer’s Tavern Old-World tavern ambiance and menu provides,” said Gandhi. “From a business perspective, with an average split of 50/50 food and beverage sales, the latest advancements in food preparation technology, and Jon Taffer’s decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Taffer’s Tavern is an ideal restaurant concept to introduce as an airport location.”

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