A Portfolio Of 20 Airport Restaurants Results In $50M In Revenue For This Entrepreneur

Last updated on Mar 13, 2024

Posted on Feb 15, 2024

In 2023, CEO of H&H Hospitality, Randy Hazelton, was on track to earn $50M in revenue, and is expected to reach $100M by 2025. Originally founded in 2007, H&H is one of Hartfield Jackson Airport’s biggest food vendors; however, to achieve this milestone, Hazelton had a lot to learn, especially from his previous setbacks. 

In 2006, Hazelton left his job as a business manager in corporate America and opened his first restaurant in downtown Atlanta – Café Circa. Although Hazelton and his business partner, Kevin Holt, eventually had to file for bankruptcy, as a result of the business’ inefficiency, he recognized that his first mistake was failing to properly understand and learn the restaurant business. In an interview with Forbes, he admits that he “didn’t do the homework”, and therefore did not know how to make money. In 2012, Hazelton and Holt sold Café Circa and used the proceeds to kickstart their franchising endeavor. This time, though, Hazelton learned from his mistakes and became a “homework nerd”, recognizing the potential in employing a copy-and-paste formula of proven success to pave the way for his own achievements.  

With multiple Shake Shack and Auntie Ann’s stands as part of his portfolio, Hazelton attributes his success to the Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Act (ACDBE), a government program that supports minority and women-owned businesses in federally funded airports. The program is intended to create fair and equal conditions for small businesses wishing to engage in contracting opportunities at airports. For Hazelton, this program was crucial for H&H’s growth. 

In spite of the myriad challenges that arise in any entrepreneurial endeavor, Hazelton continues to thrive, managing over 20 airport concession stands and restaurants, with more than 100 employees. This year, H&H plans to further expand by opening popular plant-based burger restaurant, Slutty Vegan. 

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