Test Kitchen, the place where food and innovation come together

Discover where culinary innovation starts for Autogrill Group and its subsidiary HMSHost Corporation

Culinary innovation at its best: Autogrill Group represents innovation through its Test Kitchen - a 750 sq. ft located in the Bethesda, Maryland, where HMSHost Corporation has its headquarters - a place in which more than 300 different brands daily talk about everything about the food: sustainability, packaging, timing, products, training and much more.

At Test Kitchen, Autogrill Group, through its subsidiary HMSHost, brings to life new products that enhance the culinary range, all this thanks to the contribution of chefs and dietary experts who share ideas, recipes and gastronomic concepts, starting with emerging eating trends, the evolution of nutrition standards and food technologies.

Autogrill Group as a Company that innovates and influences people's eating habits worldwide is, of course, at the very center of eating trends due also to many important novelties that are impacting the restaurant and consequently airport industries today. 

Most of the important news is tied to lifestyle changes and general well-being: Test Kitchen is one of the places where, for HMSHost, all are tested before facing the market.

How Test Kitchen works?

Test Kitchen, exactly like the other innovation laboratories that the Group has spread around the world, is equipped with everything you can find in a standard commercial restaurant kitchen in order to recreate the same experiences and the same atmosphere of an operating restaurant.

The aim of Autogrill Group is to transform the menu together with the restaurant partners to ensure that the guest experience in the airport is as good, or even much better, than at their street-side locations.

The chefs are always at work in the reception area; there’s also a proprietary wine and bar space that is approximately 300 sq. ft. on the parade route that leads to the executive meeting space. Technology is used to connect the associates, from the cameras in the ceilings and bar to show the chefs and bartenders at work, to the cameras in all of the meeting rooms throughout the entire floor. The goal, here, is to make connections easier and faster from the Operations Support Center to the field

Serving only the best

At Test Kitchen, Autogrill Group chefs prepares each menu to give travelers a choice of high-quality food that is not only fresh, authentic, and delicious, but just as important – fast. In Test Kitchen, the chefs work closely with local chefs and brands to adjust menus to feature the most popular items that can be prepared quickly.

To serve travelers arriving at airport any hour the right option, they work frequently with brand partners – many of which do not serve all kinds of meals in their street-side locations – to create menus and meal periods exclusively for the airport. The same trends you see and love in street-side dining are at the airport, for travelers to enjoy local brands, food halls and health-forward options.

Healthy focused

Our society focus on health-consciousness continues to prompt the trend towards fresh and nutritious food options: that’s why healthy options are now prevalent in all HMSHost International and Autogrill Group restaurant menus and are at the forefront of our traveler engagement initiatives such as our recently launched “Eat Well. Travel Further.” brand which puts a spotlight on the benefits of eating healthy while traveling.


Chef Jeff Steelman, Vice President of Culinary HMSHost North America, presents Test Kitchen:
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