The Casual Dining show, which returns to the Business Design Centre in London next week on 22-23 February, has announced a record 40 entries for its Innovation Challenge Awards, which recognises the best products and solutions launched in the casual dining sector over the last 12 months.
New product entries have doubled this year, with several coming from the catering equipment sector.
The 37 shortlisted exhibitors looking to win over the visitors to secure their place in the Innovation Challenge final include: Adande Refrigeration for its A+ Fridge; Advance Catering Equipment for its Smart Kitchens concept; Ascentia FSE for its F1 High Speed Oven; Pizza Equipment for its Next Phase delivery bags; Rational UK for the SelfCookingCenter XS; and Robot Coupe UK for its Robot Cook.
Voting opens at the Innovation Challenge Gallery (on the Upper Feature Level) from 10am on the show’s opening day and will run until 4pm.
The 15 exhibitors to have secured the most votes will then be invited to ‘pitch’ their new innovations to a panel of industry judges the following day. Pitches start at 11am in the Executive Centre, with the results to be announced at 1.30pm on Thursday 23 February.
The rise in entries for 2017 has also prompted the need for more judges. The new 10-strong panel (up from three judges last year) now includes big name buyers from Casual Dining Group, Jamie’s Italian, TGI Friday’s, Fuller’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Young’s and Geronimo Pubs, The Restaurant Group, Nando’s, Côte Restaurants and Anglian Country Inns.