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ALERT Covid-19 FAQs - Updated April 18, 2022


Concession FAQs

The answers to the most frequently asked questions for operating a concession business at SMF.

Interested in operating a concession business at SMF, but not sure how to get started or what is required? The answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found here.

What is a concessionaire?

A concessionaire is an entity which has entered into an agreement with the County of Sacramento to provide food and beverage, retail, or services directly to the traveling public

What are the minimum qualifications to be a concessionaire at the airport?

The County of Sacramento typically requires a minimum of three to five years of experience in of continuous ownership and management of food and beverage or retail concessions that are comparable in scope and complexity to a shopping center, airport, transportation center, mall, brick-and-mortar location or other prominent setting

What is a Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Bid (RFB)?

The County of Sacramento uses a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to award most of the concession locations at the Airport.  The County of Sacramento determines the best use of a space and then seeks proposals from experienced operators for each location.

A Request for Bid (RFB) is an opportunity where a prospective concessionaire submits a bid instead of a proposal. The bid is not a complete proposal, and the price is typically the only deciding factor. With a full proposal, price is only one of the factors considered in the selection process.

I’ve never submitted a proposal before. How do I get started?

First, make sure you have experience in operating the type of concept you wish to propose. Next, look for opportunities to partner with other companies.  Most of the concession operations at SMF are partnerships.

What if my proposal is not selected? Can I still propose in the future?

Yes. If your proposal is not selected, you are not excluded from future opportunities.

Is there a fee to propose?

No, however there is a required deposit in the amounts of $3,000 – $5,000 per proposal and will be published in the official RFP document. The deposits for unsuccessful proposals are fully refunded.  Find more details in the request for proposal document.

How long does the proposal selection process take?

Generally, the selection process takes about fifteen (15) months.

What does the selection process entail?

There are five (5) steps to the competitive selection process, and it may take up to fifteen (15) months to complete. Learn more about our Selection Process.

How does SMF determine the use for each space?

The County of Sacramento works with industry consultants and stakeholders to determine available concession space. It uses multiple resources (market research, consultants, passenger interviews and surveys) to identify the optimum use for each space and to anticipate highly desired passenger trends and preferences.

What is the minimum Agreement length in years?

Agreements vary in term length, however, a Concessionaire should expect an agreement term with a minimum of ten (10) years in duration.

What is the cost to rent concession space at the airport?

Because each concession opportunity is different, the rent varies. For example, a retail operation will have a different rent amount due than a food and beverage. Rent will be based on a percentage of gross revenue on a tiered scale to be determined at the time of agreement.

What is a package?

All opportunities in a concession RFP process are offered as a single location or multiple locations known as “packages.”

What is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise DBE?

A disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) is a for-profit small business concern that is at least 51% owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged. In the case of a corporation, 51% of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals; and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it.

What is an ACDBE?

An Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) is a for-profit small business that is at least 51 percent owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged or, in the case of a corporation where at least 51 percent of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals; and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it.

Learn more about becoming an ACDBE

Download ACDBE Program Policy

Do I have to be ACDBE certified to operate a concession at the Airport?

No, an ACDBE certification is not required to operate a concession at SMF. If a proposer is seeking ACDBE credit to meet an ACDBE goal, the ACDBE firm must be certified through the Department of Transportation (DOT) at the time of proposal submission. A certification letter must be included with the proposal submission.

Does SMF allow concepts on a trial or “pop-up” basis?

SMF does not currently allow trial concepts, such as a “pop-up store” or temporary location, however may explore such concepts in the future.

I have a product that I would like to sell at The Shops at SMF. How do I do that?

Email the Concessions Department at SMFConcessions@SMF.com to request contact information for store managers of each retail, food and beverage or service at the Airport. Contact the store managers directly about selling your product.

Where do I send information about a business plan that I would like you to consider?

You can reach the Concessions Team at SMFConcessions@saccounty.gov.