History

An American Success Story

Concessions International, LLC is an Atlanta-based company that has been in the airport concessions business since 1979. CI began as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) with three owners. In 1999, Mr. Herman J. Russell, purchased his founding partners’ interests making CI a family-owned company. Over the past three decades, CI has grown from a one-unit company to one with operations throughout the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Concessions International Timeline

1979
1979

Herman J. Russell, affectionately called H.J., along with his longtime friends and business partners Felker W. Ward, Jr. and Jesse Hill, Jr., founded Concessions International (CI) as a DBE (disadvantaged business enterprise) with 25 employees and one snack bar at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). After five years of successful operations in the LAX International Terminal, CI was selected to operate all food and beverage concessions in the new Tom Bradley International Terminal. The Bradley Terminal, which opened in June of 1984, serves most of LAX’s international carriers. Concessions International operated in LAX through December of 1996.
1995
1995

CI was awarded the prime contract at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). During this contract, CI operated more than 30 facilities along with its subtenants including Sweetwater Drafthouse Bar & Grill, Wendy’s, Moe's Southwest Grill, Budweiser Brewhouse, Sam Adams Toasts Atlanta, Miller Victory Lane, Houlihan's and three Paschal's Restaurants.
1999
1999

Herman J. Russell purchased the interest his founding partners, Felker W. Ward, Jr, and Jesse Hill, Jr. had in CI, making it a family-owned company.
2014
2014

CI opened an in-airport proprietary concept called Fresh Exchange at Denver's Union Station in downtown Denver on November 15, 2014, the Concessions International family lost its founder and chairman, Herman J. Russell, at the age of eighty-three. His life-long contributions will live on through all that he touched. The legacy continues
2018
2018

CI began operating its street-side Starbucks at the Alliance Center in Buckhead Atlanta.

2021
2021

Another proprietary brand, Roast Coffee House, opened in both the Seattle and Atlanta airports.

A New Generation

Run and operated by the second generation of the Russell family, with several member of the third generation working within the company, today CI is ranked among the top six largest food and beverage airport concessionaires with approximately 40 food and beverage sites at eight major airports.


Driven by innovation and technology, CI introduced the first tabletop iPad ordering at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, allowing travelers to browse the full food and beverage menu and order in minutes from every seat in both Samuel Adams Atlanta and Dos Equis Explorer Lounge Restaurants.

Moving Forward

Today’s airport concessions environment is constantly changing and Concessions International understands that keeping up with those changes and taking care of its guests requires a strong infrastructure and careful planning. CI’s extensive industry experience has prepared it to compete for new contracts, continue steady growth and be the airport concessions employer of choice while maintaining a strong commitment to value and exceptional service.


On November 15, 2014, the Concessions International family lost it's founder and chairman, Mr. Herman J. Russell, at the age of eighty-three. His life-long contributions will live on through all that he touched. The legacy continues…

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