Returned to terminal for flight back to SAN a bit early. Bacon/cheese/avo burger at John Muir Tavern post security. Bar nearly full. Tables maybe 75%. Concourse absolutely bustling in late afternoon/early evening.
While a significantly lower priority than gate space, security lanes, customs facilities, and parking, food concessions at FAT are severely lacking most of the time. I would love to see some local eateries like SMF and many other airports have. I was thinking about this a while back, and my suggestions would be replacing all of the current offerings (minus the Starbucks outside security) with three quick service places, one local coffee shop, and one sit-down place:
1) A local Mexican taqueria (top priority). I would say a well-known establishment like La Elegante, El Premio Mayor, or Maria's Tacos selling tacos/burritos in the afternoon and evening and then breakfast burritos and similar in the morning would be awesome.
2) A local sandwich shop (second priority), like Sam's Deli, La Boulangerie, or Piemonte's Deli (or even Deli Delicious).
3) A local Japanese or SE Asian eatery serving bowls (third priority), like Kikku Japanese, Zeni-Ya, Noodle Q, or similar.
4) A moderately-priced local sit-down restaurant that people in Fresno know well (I'm not sure how much business the place outside security does, but perhaps it would do better if it was a place people knew), such as Heirloom (only part of their location is sit-down, but they could easily make the whole airport location that way), Doghouse Grill, or Cosmopolitan.
5) A local coffee shop to replace the Starbucks inside security (would be nice but wouldn't really add anything besides being local and probably higher quality), such as Fulton, Valparaiso, Kuppa Joy, the Revue, or similar.