Casual Dining Show
Thursday 23 September 2021 - Friday 24 September 2021
For all relevant trade professionals and suppliers
The organisers of Casual Dining, the definitive restaurant, pub and bar event, have revealed a world-class Keynote Speaker line-up for their comeback show at London ExCeL on 23-24 September. The seminars take place alongside the event across three Keynote Theatres (sponsored by Yumpingo) and offer trade attendees exceptional access to industry leaders and experts.
The award-winning trade show has announced the welcome return of industry leader Peter Borg-Neal, Chief Executive of Oakman Group, which was recently named by Alix Partners as the UK’s fastest growing pub business. Peter recently said that “Casual Dining has very quickly become a must visit event in the industry calendar. As well as learning about new innovations on the supply side it provides a great networking opportunity and some hugely informative debates and speaker sessions.”
Also returning to the show are Nick Collins, who in only six years as CEO of Loungers has overseen the group’s expansion from 56 to 166 sites across the UK; and Zoe Bowley, Managing Director, Pizza Express. A regular at the show, Zoe recently commented that “the sheer scale of Casual Dining and seeing our industry brought together in one place always reminds me that this an industry that people can join and thrive in. It reflects how big and great we are and, particularly post-COVID, it demonstrates how our industry will be a force for good in the future.”
Casual Dining has also confirmed a ream of fantastic first-time speakers gracing the stages this year, including Chris Miller, Founder & CEO, White Rabbit Projects; Darrel Connell, Partner, Imbiba; Duncan Mcewan, Executive Development Chef, The Big Table Group; Laura Morris, Co-owner Director, Yard & Coop; Paul Barham, Founder and Director, Red Engine – Flight Club and Electric Shuffle; Rob Pitcher, CEO, Revolution Bars Group; Steve Wilkins, Founder, Little Gems Country Dining; TV Charlie McVeigh, Founder, Bunker Projects; and Winston Matthews, Commercial Director, Busaba.
As in previous years, the show is supported by UKHospitality, whose CEO Katie Nicholls will be leading an exclusive session providing an overview of the government strategies needed to help the sector recover and grow.
The organisers have also confirmed an array of compelling panel sessions, including the first ever Casual Dining Investors Panel, looking behind the scenes at how some of the most talked about brands are funded. The panel features Charlie McVeigh, Founder, Bunker Projects; Chris Miller, Founder & CEO, White Rabbit Projects; and Darrel Connell, Partner, Imbiba.
Other panels bringing together industry leaders, experts and chefs include Menu Innovation for Multi-Site Restaurants Panel, featuring Steven Mangleshot, Global Executive Chef & Brand Ambassador, Wagamama; Winston Matthews, Commercial Director, Busaba; and Duncan McEwan, Executive Development Chef, The Big Table Group. At the new-for-2021 Pub & Bar Keynote Theatre, sponsored by Yumpingo, the Pub Leaders Panel will feature Simon Bunn, Managing Director, Brewhouse and Kitchen; Joycelyn Neve, Managing Director, Oakman Group; and Anthony Pender, Co-Founder, The Yummy Pub Co., whose discussion will cover business rates, staffing, wages, Brexit, rooms and surviving the pandemic. Other panels will also focus on key business areas and innovations – operations, marketing, going global and the next big thing.
Reflecting the challenges and innovations of the post-COVID landscape, Peter Bachman will be presenting a session on delivery and virtual brands. Attendees can also gain invaluable market insights from KAM Media, The NPD Group, CGA, Peach 20/20 and FutureFoodservice, whose Founder Simon Stenning recently described the show as “an absolute must attend for all stakeholders across restaurants, pubs and fast food, as it is the place to see, share, hear and meet all of the most important trends and people leading the way in which consumers eat out.”
Event Manager Eva Ellis commented: “With this year’s show there is a real sense of coming together and celebrating the innovations that have emerged from a challenging 18 months. The calibre of this year’s Keynote Speaker line-up (not to mention the exhibitors and buyers!) really reflects just how passionate and resilient this sector is.”
Other speakers include Brian Trollip, Managing Director, Dishoom; Laura Harper-Hinton, Co-Founder, Caravan; Mark Derry, Executive Chairman, Brasserie Bar Co.; Mark Selby, Co-Founder & CEO, Wahaca; Mark Wogan, Creative Director, Homeslice; Seamus O'Donnell, Culinary Director, The Alchemist; Simon Potts, CEO, The Alchemist; Simon Wilkinson, CEO, Famously Proper Ltd; Steve Holmes, CEO, Azzurri Group; Susan Chappell, Divisional Director, Mitchells & Butlers; Toby Harris, CEO, State of Play Hospitality (Bounce); and Tom Barton, Co-founder - Director of Food, Innovation & Sustainability, Honest Burgers.
Casual Dining is being described by many as a critical event for the industry, with Steve Holmes, CEO, Azzurri Group calling it “the most important Casual Dining show yet”, and Steven Mangleshot, Executive Chef, Wagamama commenting: “We need to get together, find innovation and support each other more than ever. See you at Casual Dining 2021.”
Casual Dining takes place on 23-24 September at ExCeL London and is co-located with lunch! and Commercial Kitchen. Registration is free and strictly for members of the trade only.
More big-name speakers from across the restaurant, pub & bar event sector will be announced in the coming months.