It maybe one of the world's busiest, but not many would confuse O'Hare International Airport as the world's most efficient, especially for hungry travelers subjected to long lines waiting to pay for food. Chicago officials want to change that, as they're touting airport improvements including grab and go alcoholic drink carts and self-serve beer taps for busy travelers. They're even offering delivery at the gate, according to the Sun-Times.
In all there's $3 million in improvements, including furniture and technology. The upgrades should shorten lines at restaurants. O'Hare Starbucks are also undergoing improvements, allowing travelers to buy drinks without queuing up. The changes have already started at Rick Bayless' Tortas Fronteras, the highlight for many hungry diners at O'Hare. Hey, it beats Chili's To Go, and if that linked video is any evidence, Bayless isn't going to relinquish his crown for best airport food. Given that eye on improvement, in March, Frontera launched mobile ordering via ChowNow for Terminals 1 and 3, utilizing browsers and iOS/Droid apps. This allows customers to order and pay on their phone and skip their lines. Some guests have even ordered as soon as their planes land. Since March, about 1,500 O'Hare travelers have ordered Tortas Fronteras, via ChowNow, according to ChowNow. The most popular items are the Chipotle Chicken torta and Taqueria Salad.
The self-serve beer "robots" will likely be similar to machines deployed at the United Center. Not only will this make it more convenient for travelers, but it's a way for the city to generate more revenue. There's no specific timeline for the rollout, but it will happen "very fast." Then city officials will focus their efforts on Midway Airport.