In March, when Pennsylvania limited restaurants to to-go service and retail merchants to those selling essential goods only, and stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions resulted in a 90 percent decrease in passenger volume, PHL Food & Shops right-sized its terminal offerings. With restrictions now easing and passenger activity on the rise, merchants that have been closed for almost three months are beginning to resume operations.
But in the post-COVID-19 crisis world, getting back to business isn’t business as usual.
“We are extremely excited to begin the process of reopening the PHL Food & Shops program and by the gradual increase in enplanements we are seeing,” said Mel Hannah, vice president and general manager of MarketPlace PHL. “In our ‘new norm’, there are many new guidelines and safety procedures that our merchants must follow before we allow them to serve our guests at PHL. The extensive physical distancing and safety checklists and plans that we have implemented across the program will help ensure we provide safe, healthy service to all.”
Enplanements—the number of passengers boarding planes—are the primary factor in deciding which merchants MarketPlace opens and when. “Our core categories as we ramp up operations in each terminal are bar and restaurant, coffee shop and news/gift,” said Hannah. “We then begin to add quick serve locations. This helps guide the re-opening of merchants based on where we might have a void as enplanements start to increase.”
Merchants operating throughout the COVID-19 crisis and those scheduled for reopening are required to submit their physical distancing and safety checklist which includes:
- Physical distancing plan
- Employee hand washing plan
- Point of sale barrier plan and specs
- Confirmation of adequate face-covering supplies for employees
“Aside from face coverings, none of the procedures are mandated by the government,” said Hannah. “Because the health and safety of customers and employees are of the utmost importance, MarketPlace has instituted a policy requiring these steps.”
Once MarketPlace receives and approves a plan, the merchant is clear to begin preparing for operation and will open on a mutually agreed upon date. MarketPlace performs an inspection to ensure compliance in all outlined areas prior to the opening.
For a list of all currently open PHL Food & Shops, visit phl.org/open. The list is updated as more merchants resume operations.