Big names gather for lunch! appointment in September


The big guns are being brought in to form the line-up of Keynote speakers at lunch! 2014.

Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of Leon and a founding director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Steve Flanagan, UK marketing and category director at Starbucks, and Sarah Doyle, brand director at EAT. are just three of the big name Keynote speakers already confirmed to appear at this year’s lunch! show, which returns to the Business Design Centre in London on 23-24 September.

Martin Hambleton, head of procurement & innovation at En Route International, will also be adding lunch! speaker duties to his impressive resume (he has held senior buying positions at Elior UK, EAT. and DO&CO).

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As a buyer, Hambleton has been a keen supporter of lunch! for years, calling it “the best trade show a buyer can attend”. As a speaker, his ‘Buying Masterclass’ looks set to prove just as essential.

Running throughout the two day show, lunch!’s free business seminars are renowned for attracting a host of high-profile brands and industry leaders from across the food to go retailing and contract catering industry.

With past speakers including representatives from Pret, YO! Sushi, Subway, M&S Foods, Caffè Nero, AMT Coffee and the Compass Group UK & Ireland.

“We all like to think we’re open to new ideas and like to experiment, but then we seem to eat the same sandwich from the same place most days,” says EAT.’s brand director Sarah Doyle.

“Given that many people’s eating habits can be firmly ingrained, the first step for lunchtime retailers looking to boost their customer base is “not scaring them off before they’ve walked through the door."

Drawing on more than 18 years of experience as a marketer in the food industry, working on FMCG brands such as Hula Hoops, Typhoo Tea and Quorn, and overseeing EAT.’s recent brand revamp, Doyle will divulge strategies on how retailers can maximise their sales by persuading these “creatures of habit” to change their routines.

The Working lunch! Theatre (sponsored by Magrini) will also include sessions by entrepreneur Tim Hall, creator of healthy fast-food brand Pod, and Richard Garcia, founder and owner of Cook & Garcia.

Other new sessions announced today include ‘Lunch as we knew it… A post-recession review of the lunch market,’ hosted by Emma Read, director of marketing and business development for foodservice analyst Horizons.

This essential market update will give an overview of established and upcoming trends in the vibrant food-to-go sector, and look ahead to what’s likely to happen to the market now that the UK is out of recession.

“Street food is just one example of how operators are responding to the rising demand for sustainable, healthy, hand-held food,” says Read. “Providing innovative solutions to meet consumers’ demand for flavoursome, innovative, authentic on-the-go dishes.”


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Kathy Bowry

The author Kathy Bowry

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