Airport cafe to shut as City cuts cost
Albany Regional Airport’s cafe will close and be replaced by vending machines this week as the City of Albany seeks to cut costs.
The surprise decision came after the City failed to find an operator who could run a cafe at the airport without a subsidy.
The site will at least temporarily not be leased while the City seeks an operator who can run the cafe without financial support.
Current site holder Quick Shot Coffee will close tomorrow.
City of Albany chief executive Andrew Sharpe confirmed the change yesterday.
“We’ve followed due process and considered a number of proposals very carefully but on this occasion we were unable to attract an operator that would run the service without a significant ongoing subsidy,” he said.
“Subsidising what should be a commercial operation would be inconsistent with other leases the City manages, so for the time being we will have vending machines to ensure travellers can still buy coffee or snacks and these will be serviced and re-stocked at no cost to the City.
“From a customer service perspective we’d prefer not to have vending machines, so we’ll continue to explore options to find someone who can run the cafe viably.”
Current lessee Christopher Saurin said the City’s decision was a loss for the airport and its visitors.
“Every customer that has gone through has said it’s a backwards step,” he said.
Mr Saurin took over the lease in October after the former tenant pulled out of the airport early.
He claimed he and two others submitted had applications for the site, for which the City offered a subsidy of up to $150,000 a year.
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