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High-end burger restaurant eyes Houston airport: Will fly dining be forever fast food changed?

High-end burger restaurant eyes Houston airport: Fly dining changes?

Bush Intercontinental Airport Terminal E waiting area IAH travelers
George Bush Intercontinental Airport may soon feature new dining concepts if operator Guillermo Perales' bid to the airport system is accepted. Photo by Henry Han/Wikipedia
Krispy Kreme doughnuts in a box
In addition to his goals to change the airport's food options, Perales is expanding doughnut chain Krispy Kreme back into the Houston area. PRNewsWire.com
Bush Intercontinental Airport Terminal E waiting area IAH travelers
Krispy Kreme doughnuts in a box

A local restaurant operator is making some rather big changes to Houston's franchise scene, most significantly by hoping to bring new restaurant and concession options to George Bush Intercontinental Airport as well as overseeing the local return of donut chain Krispy Kreme.

Guillermo Perales, president and CEO of Sun Holdings LLC, has placed a bid to operate several eatery concepts at the airport. His company owns and operates 440 restaurants in Florida and Texas, including CiCi's Pizza, Golden Corral and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in Houston as first reported by Houston Business Journal.

 "The airport does not have any Hispanic operator. There are over 2 million Hispanics in Houston. We hope (the airport) gives our company a chance." 

One of the new concepts Perales hopes to introduce to the Houston Airport System is a BK Whopper Bar — a high-end hamburger concept from international chain Burger King — and a local Mexican restaurant, although specifics have yet to be determined.

"We want to partner with a couple of Houston concepts to provide Houston travelers with local restaurants, and (partner with) some national brands that we feel resonate very strongly with all travelers," Perales tells HBJ.

Perales hopes that the fact he's the largest Hispanic restaurant franchisee will give his company an edge when the airport system is considering bids.

"The airport does not have any Hispanic operator," Perales says. "There are over 2 million Hispanics in Houston. We hope (the airport) gives our company a chance."

In addition to adding new dining options to the airport, Perales is bringing the North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme donut franchise back to Houston. In December, Perales announced that the chain — which left the local market in 2006 following the end of its previous franchise agreement — will be opening 10 locations across the city. The first Krispy Kreme, scheduled to open Feb. 17, will be northwest of Houston at 5611 Highway 6.