National Air and Space Museum Food Service RFP

This week’s Featured Bid focuses on The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (NASM) RFP for food and beverage service concept. They are seeking one (1) firm for the consultation, design concept for interior fit-out, management and operation of a restaurant space within the Bezos Learning Center as well as the operation of an outside café, and a minimum of two (2) mobile food carts.

The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 21 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine (9) research facilities. In 2019, more than 23.2 million people from around the world visited the museums and the National Zoo. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million pieces. The Smithsonian collections are the basis for research, exhibitions and public programs in the arts, history and culture, and the sciences.

Food Service Goals

The overriding objective for NASM food service is to satisfy the diverse needs and tastes of visitors and staff. Additionally, the offeror should source selections as fresh and local as possible. Options for those with allergies or sensitivities are important as is excellent customer service. Food offerings must be high quality and at a reasonable price point. The selected offeror must support NASM’s drive for sustainability along with established recycling and composting programs. It it also important to note that the Smithsonian has banned the sale of beverages in single use plastic bottles. While understanding the need to feed the masses, NASM expects the selected offeror to make the overall dining experience positive and rewarding. Offerings should be innovative, service should be welcoming, and the atmosphere should reflect a sense of place.

Project Details

  • Restaurant 1: The first restaurant will be located within the Bezos Learning Center.
    • It will be housed on the first floor (est. 20k – 22k square feet) and will have approximately 600 to 700 seats.
    • The Smithsonian intends to construct a restaurant “shell” for the selected offeror, taking into account the selected offeror’s needs. This shell will include utilities sufficient for a commercial kitchen and other typical amenities for restaurant visitors and staff.
  • Restaurant 2: This will be an outside café located on the west end of the NASM building. The last food service operation in this location was a large, nationally-branded trailer. Offerors may elect to propose a similar type of operation or food trucks.
    • All seating will be outside seating.
    • The selected offeror is responsible for providing all outside tables and chairs and for maintaining the furnishings as well as the outside seating area for Restaurant 2.
  • Mobile Carts: Mobile carts are currently located on the north (mall side) of the building. Post renovation locations may be expanded but NASM has not yet made a final determination. The Smithsonian seeks a minimum of two (2) mobile carts.

View the full food services RFP by visiting

Important Dates and Deadlines

Offerors will provide a complete copy of their proposal via email to the attention of Susan Engelhardt at These materials must be submitted via email by 3:00 PM EST on or before August 29, 2022, with the subject matter of the RFP and the name of the company clearly identified in the subject line.

Interested in Responding to this Food Service RFP?

RFPs are a huge undertaking! The Bid Lab has helped hundreds of clients respond to food service RFPs, just like this one! With three (3) different concepts, this RFP requires a dream team hungry to take on the challenge. The Bid Lab will help guide you through the response process and ensure your proposal satisfies. So, schedule a free consultation with us today. See how we can make your experience a positive and informative one!

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