Trade show lunch! books keynote speaker

The organisers of annual catering trade show lunch! have revealed their opening keynote speaker for this year’s event.

Former Pret A Manger managing director, Andrew Walker, who is now a retail consultant, will kick off the two-day September event in style by sharing his observations and expertise on the highly competitive lunchtime market.

Walker’s session – ‘Maximising your lunchtime opportunity’ – will take place on the opening day of the sixth annual exhibition, which takes place at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London on September 26-27.

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He will draw on more than 12 years of experience working at Pret to explain how retailers can maximise their sales during the ‘magic two-hour lunch window’. Walker spent four years as director of operations at Pret, then four-and-a-half-years as UK managing director, during which time sales grew from £223m to £350m and EBITDA doubled to £58m.

“While innovation is hugely important it’s not the only route to success,” he said. “A customer-focused approach to service and planning your menu can be equally important.”

Catering equipment exhibitors at this year’s event include ABDA, Alan Nuttal, Catering Equipment Ltd, Dawson, Rational and Williams.

Day two’s opening keynote, meanwhile, will be delivered by Andrew Sherick, who up until just a few weeks ago was a senior buyer with M&S Foods. He spent more than 20 years at M&S and served as chairman of the British Sandwich Association.

The British lunchtime market is valued at almost £15 billion, according to Horizons data quoted by lunch! organisers.

Andrew Walker will share his experiences of managing Pret A Manager when he speaks at the forthcoming lunch! trade show in London.

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