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GTMS Opens New Concession at DFW International Airport

Fort Worth Based Company Takes on Issue of Homelessness in a Unique Business Collaboration

Fort Worth based Gideon Toal Management Services, LLC (GTMS), known for its expertise in the airport lounge and concession management space, and R.S. Harris LLC operating in Dallas/Fort celebrated the grand opening of The Bridge Travel Essentials at DFW International Airport on January 5. The opening marked the first of its kind collaboration combining nonprofit and for-profit businesses to establish a social entrepreneurship business model to be based in DFW International Airport.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce defines social entrepreneurship as a for-profit business model that strives to make a positive impact on either social or environmental issues by partnering with non-profits.

This collaboration has partnered with The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center in Dallas. According to World Population, Texas ranks # 4 in homelessness in the country.   The new airport concession will bear the Bridge’s name as The Bridge Travel Essentials offering travel necessities such as fresh grab and go food items, electronics, health and beauty products, beverages and other travel items like pillows, blankets, luggage locks. 

“DFW Airport is not only a major travel hub, but it’s also an economic engine that creates jobs and supports our local business community,” said Ken Buchanan, Executive Vice President of Revenue Management and Customer Experience. “The Bridge is a new model for an airport concession that taps into this engine in a creative way to use some of its proceeds to benefit those who need the most help in our community. We are proud to offer our passengers the opportunity to shop for travel essentials while also helping to end homelessness in North Texas.”

Since opening in 2008, The Bridge has evolved into an internationally recognized model for homelessness recovery and has countless examples of accelerating and transforming the lives of people experiencing homelessness. A licensing fee of The Bridge brand will help infuse funds into the homeless recovery support network in Dallas area to help get people back on their feet.  

In addition to The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, UpSpire – a Fort Worth based nonprofit under the umbrella of the Presbyterian Night Shelter will provide the staffing that will work at the Bridge Travel Essentials.   An added value to this collaboration was to seek small minority owned businesses as part of the mix that would not normally have access to doing business with the airport concessions market.   Rounding out the group in the small business category is Black Coffee – a favorite Fort Worth Eastside coffee shop. 

UpSpire services have had a huge positive impact on the homeless community through its professional services contracting programs that enable its clients who have experienced homelessness to transition permanently into the general workforce.  The program provides gainful employment, case management support, and job skill development to aid clients during their tenure.  For its part, UpSpire will provide staffing for the retail operation.

Black Coffee – recognized as Fort Worth’s “Best of 2020” for drip coffee is a minority owned business operating the only coffee shop located in the East Fort Worth area.  It epitomizes the concept of a small minority owned business that has been successful in establishing a brand, creating a loyal following and surviving a pandemic.  Black Coffee owned by Mia Moss will provide product in the form of the drip coffee station.

This team collaboration is unique in that they will focus solely on working within the airport concessions industry not just in the DFW area but domestic airports in general. GTMS President, Alvin Brown said. “We are extremely proud that this partnership will become a part of the fabric of north Texas economy at DFW. 

Founded in 1996, GTMS currently operates airport lounges at 11 locations in 8 domestic U.S. airports including Dallas Fort Worth International, Orlando International, and Las Vegas. International and has earned numerous prestigious aviation awards for exceptional customer service since 2014.

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