Café Rouge quick-service concept wings its way airside

Cafe Rouge at Birmingham's Bullring reopens after a refit.

A new grab-and-go concept developed by Café Rouge is set to open at Inverness Airport next week as it begins to roll out nationwide following a successful debut in London.

Café Rouge launched the ‘Rapide’ concept at Victoria Place, London, in 2014, and followed it up with a second branch at Euston Station, last year. Inverness Airport will be the first site to be branded just Rapide, and will be the first standalone express site, not part of a larger restaurant.

The airside terminal unit will span just 45 square metres and house six seats because the ‘express site’ is designed to cater mainly to passengers in a hurry who take away their food.

Described as serving ‘French Food, Fast’, the unit will offer hot and cold baguettes, French snack classics such as croque monsieur, hot and cold drinks, and all-day breakfast lines including croissants and pain au chocolat.

CDG has signed a seven-year deal with airport owner Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL). As part of the agreement with HIAL it will feature locally-sourced food and ingredients in its menu, including cheeses, other dairy products, salmon and smoked trout.

Mark Nelson, managing director of concessions and international franchising at parent company Casual Dining Group, said: “A grab-and-go outlet at a busy airport terminal is a perfect location from which to attract takeaway customers. The one at Inverness also helps us develop a presence in Scotland as we seek to open other express outlets north of the border, while at the same time looking at opportunities at major airports in England.

“And with each new grab-and-go site like this we’re refining the Rapide idea, which sees us offer quality food and drink from units with very small physical footprints.”

Inverness Airport owner HIAL is in turn owned by the Scottish Government, and operates 11 Scottish airports. Situated at Dalcross, seven miles outside Inverness, the airport is ranked 27th busiest in the UK.

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