The multi-award winning two day trade show is expected to attract over four thousand key buyers and decision makers from many of the country’s biggest casual dining pub groups and restaurant chains, hotels, contract caterers, and independent operators. Over 170 leading industry suppliers – showcasing an innovative choice of food and drink, equipment, table top, POS technology and services, will be there to meet them.
“The Casual Dining show is the two days a year when our sector gets together. It’s an essential forum for sharing new ideas, innovations and insights,” says Simon Kossoff, co-founder and chairman of Carluccio’s, who’ll be in conversation with CGA Peach’s Peter Martin at 11am in the Keynote Theatre on opening day.
Topics under discussion include the future of Carluccio’s, opening overseas, authenticity, social responsibility, maximising seasonal returns and whether appearing on TV is ever a good thing or not.
Other opening day speakers (in order of appearance) include Horizon’s Peter Backman; David McDowall, MD of bars at BrewDog; Mark McCulloch, founder and group CEO of WE ARE Spectacular; Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the ALMR; Mark McQuater, chief executive of Revolution Bars Group; and Keith Bird, chief operating officer at Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
“Casual Dining is a hotbed of innovation…the most focused, most relevant, the best show of the year,” says GBK’s Keith Bird.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association Panel (at 1.15pm) will see Joseph Evans, finance director at Oakman Inns & Restaurants, Harry Cragoe, owner of the Gallivant hotel, and chair Mark Linehan, MD of The SRA, add their insights to the hot topic of ‘fair pay’ in the hospitality industry.
Improving staff retention, engagement and empowerment is the key focus of The Training in Pubs Panel (at 3.30pm). Chaired by Anthony Pender, chairman of The BII and MD of Yummy Pub Co, the session will feature James Nye, MD of Anglian Country Inns, and Joycelyn Neve, MD of The Seafood Pub Company.
The second day’s seminar line-up is equally impressive – kicking off at 10.15am with the exclusive unveiling of the results of CGA Peach’s Business Leaders’ Survey. CGA Peach director Jamie Campbell will discuss this year’s findings, including the key challenges, business risks and investment opportunities facing the sector for 2016 and beyond.
He’ll be followed by one of those leaders – Steve Richards, CEO of Casual Dining Group, who’ll take to the stage at 11am. He’ll be revealing some key insights of his own, including how CDG (formerly Tragus) have evolved and improved key brands like Bella Italia and Café Rouge. Speaking ahead of his session, Richards says Casual Dining offers “a chance to debate and consider the big issues driving change in the casual dining market – perfect”.
Other second day highlights include exclusive ‘in conversation’ sessions with Luke Johnson, chairman of private equity firm Risk Capital Partners (talking to Paul Charity, managing director of Propel Info) and David Campbell, chief executive of Wagamama, reflecting on the evolution of the brand with CGA Peach’s Peter Martin. Plus, there’ll be Keynotes from Martin Morales, founder of Ceviche, and Paul Pavli, operations director of Punch Taverns.
“Casual Dining gives all operators a chance to hear from peers on what they are working on, what’s going well and not so well. It’s also a great place to sample trends, so you can make sure you are on track with your own developments,” says Pavli. In his visitor feedback last year, he called the show “a must attend event”.
New for 2016, visitors can now plan their visit in advance via the online Show Guide, which includes full seminar details and exhibitor listings. It’s available to view here.
For more information, and to register for a free trade only ticket to Casual Dining click here