BREAKING NEWS: FEA reveals industry’s top 100 social media stars

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UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls was ranked number one in FEA’s first Foodservice Top 100 Social Media influencers list.

The FEA has revealed its first Foodservice Top 100 Social Media influencers during its 2021 annual conference.

The list was unveiled as part of last night’s informal dinner at the Chesford Grange hotel in Warwickshire.

The initiative was the brainchild of FEA chair, Steve Hobbs, and the association’s marketing manager, Adam Lawrence, to recognise the individuals who continued to campaign, inspire, innovate and educate during the past 18 months and to celebrate the hard work and effort that has gone into keeping the foodservice sector in the front of everyone’s minds.

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Influencer marketing consultant Gordon Glenister then helped the pair put the idea into action and last night told around 150 assembled delegates: “It’s certainly a way for your industry to recognise those individuals that are fundamentally making the difference by using their influence to do that, both in the news and on social media.

“Our analysis is compiled from real data metrics, and so while there was a nomination process as part of this campaign, which was taken into consideration, we actually analysed over 120 individuals within the sector. We measured influence by assessing how frequently each account is retweeted, replied, mentioned and followed, on Twitter and LinkedIn. We then amalgamated and equally weighted influence on both platforms to reach a ranking from 1 to 100.”

Top of the pile was UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls, and although she was unable to attend the conference, she sent in a video message to say: “Thank you so much for naming me as the number one foodservice influencer for 2021 and I’m only sorry I can’t be there to join you in person to celebrate the achievements not only of the sector in coming through the crisis that we’ve had over the last 18 months, but also the influential and talented people who join me on that list.

“As Covid hit, as our worlds narrowed, our daily lives locked down, online communications and social media became ever more important and critical to building those shared networks that have been so vital in getting our industry through the crisis and will continue to be vital, going forward.

“For somebody like me, whose day job revolves around face-to-face communications, presenting the industry’s case in meetings with ministers and officials, MPs and the media, social media and the engagement that I had with that online community was really critical to help keep me connected with the industry, not just in helping our members through the process, but broadening it out to help and support the wider industry through collaborative networks with organisations like the FEA.”

She emphasised: “It was also a key lifeline for me, it provided inspiration and it allowed me to tap into the innovative stories, the inspirational stories of what our members were doing. That kept me motivated, it kept driving me forward and it continues to inspire me today.

“And finally, in the bleakest moments when it was the most difficult, social media and that online communication created that shared supportive network, those shared experiences that we’ve all missed, and it kept me sane. Over the course of Covid we’ve seen the importance of that cascading of information, that sharing of content across the industry, UKHospitality and FEA working hand in hand with other trade associations, building that collaborative network across the industry as a whole to educate, inform and inspire, and I think that’s something that we want to make sure that we build on, going forwards.”

Hobbs responded: “Somebody who has been the voice of the wider hospitality industry over the last year is deserving of this award. I think the message that Kate has delivered at all levels has been quite phenomenal, and I send my congratulations to her as chairman of the FEA.”

The rest of the top 10 comprised:

2 Henry Dimbleby, co-founder, Leon Restaurants and the Sustainable Restaurant Association
3 Lindsay Graham, poverty and inequality commissioner, Poverty and Inequality Commission Scotland
4 Mark Lewis, chief executive, Hospitality Action
5 James Stagg, editor, The Caterer
6 Andy Jones, chair, PS100 Group
7 Hayden Groves, chef consultant
8 Lisa Jenkins, managing editor, The Caterer
9 James Golding, group chef director, The Pig Hotels
10 Stuart Roberts, deputy president, National Farmers Union

While the remainder of the list numbered:

11 Kath Dalmeny, CEO, UKSustain
12 Cyrus Todiwala, chef patron, Café Spice Namaste
13 Nathan Jones, MD, Gamble Foodservice Solutions
14 Vic Laws, director, AVL Consultancy
15 Stelious Theocharous, host of The Ceres Podcast
16 Mark Davies, MD, ISS UK Food Service
17 Trevor Burke, MD, Exclusive Ranges
18 Simon Stenning, founder, FutureFoodservice
19 Peter Kitchin, MD, C&C Catering Equipment
20 Alan Dewberry, director, Dewberry Redpoint
21 Phil Shelley, chair, NHS Food Review
22 Ian Parsons, general manager, Walker Catering Supplies
23 Molly Shaher, chair, Professional Association of Catering Education
24 Nic Banner, vice president sales UK and Ireland, Specifi
25 Jamie Poole, sales director, & Serve
26 Shaune Hall, development chef, Falcon Foodservice Equipment
27 Phil Rees Jones, chair, TUCO
28 Chris Sheppardson, founder of EP Magazine, EP Communications, EPIC and Chess
29 Paul Anderson, MD, Meiko UK
30 Andy Kemp, group sales and marketing director, Bidfood UK
31 Jayne Jones, national chair, Assist FM
32 Chris Brazier, group event director, Diversified Communications
33 Graham Russell, retired brand development manager, Grande Cuisine
34 Natalie Courbet, sales executive, Revalize
35 Gary McGill, MD, McGill Solutions
36 Eleanor Morris, special advisor, hospitality and foodservice, WRAP
37 John Stableforth, hospitality consultant
38 Becky Sharpe, sales and marketing, Eco Catering Equipment
39 Glenn Roberts, national head of sales, Winterhalter UK
40 Julie Fell, marketing manager, Electrolux Professional
41 Mark Cooke, national accounts manager, Meiko UK
42 Stephen Kinkead, MD, Winterhalter UK
43 Alexia Robinson, founder of Love British Food and British Food Fortnight
44 Georges Gaspar, director, Halton Foodservice
45 Brian Lavelle, Europe sales manager, Culimat
46 Richard Fordham, director, Ki-Tech Solutions
47 Max Smith, account manager, Hoshizaki UK
48 Stuart Brereton, business development manager, MN UK
49 Alistair Farquhar, channel manager distribution UK and specification, Welbilt
50 Julian Edwards, chair, FCSI UK & Ireland
51 Richard Clark, national account manager, Adande Refrigeration
52 Cara Turner, commercial director, Informa Markets
53 Jack Sharkey, MD, Vision Commercial Kitchens
54 Iain Munro, business development director, Hobart UK
55 Scott Walker, sales manager, CHR Equipment
56 Mark Barnes, group MD, Catering Projects
57 Paul Crumpler, regional sales manager, Halton Foodservice
58 Pete Callahan, sales, CHR Equipment
59 Mark Kendall, commercial director, Cedabond
60 Simon Gardiner, regional manager, Hobart UK
61 Steve Forster, national chair, LACA
62 Fiona Mason, office manager, CEDA
63 Malcolm Morris, UK and Ireland country manager, Novameta
64 Paul Bayer, national sales manager, Falcon Foodservice Equipment
65 Jamie Clews, key account manager, Robot Coupe
66 Peter Farrell, sales director, C&C Catering Equipment
67 Lawrence Hughes, sales and marketing director, Falcon Foodservice Equipment
68 Martyn Keal, MD, Sylvester Keal
69 Adrian Groves, area sales manager, Falcon Foodservice Equipment
70 Karl Jones, director, GS Group
71 Darren Lockley, head of region, UK and Ireland, Electrolux Professional
72 Debbie Mash, director, sMashing Supplies
73 Josh Waddell, group commercial manager, Promedia Digital
74 Euan Hunter, business development manager, Parry Catering Equipment
75 John Stewart, product manager, cooking and food preparation, Hobart UK
76 Stephen Ryan, kitchen design manager for EMEA, Restaurant Associates at Google
77 Terry Siklenka, past director of operations, Synergy Grill Technology
78 Anthony Fernandes, machines manager, Nisbets
79 Matthew Merritt-Harrison, managing partner, Merritt-Hanson Catering Consultancy
80 Paul Neville, MD, CHR Equipment
81 Garry Allitt, national sales manager, Williams Refrigeration
82 Matt Astbury, business development manager, UK and Ireland, Electrolux Professional
83 Barry Hill, marketing manager, Falcon Foodservice Equipment
84 Andrew Fordyce, group MD, IFSE
85 Kevin Veitch, head of national accounts, Falcon Foodservice Equipment
86 Josh Tordoff, group supply chain manager, Airedale Catering Equipment
87 Brett Duffy, business development manager, Winterhalter UK
88 Mark Harris, group commercial manager, Catering Insight and Foodservice Equipment Journal
89 Steven Grahamslaw, product manager, Falcon Foodservice Equipment
90 Toby Magness, UK sales manager, Ambach
91 Mike Stagg, area manager, Hobart UK
92 Holly Francis, sales director, Gamble Foodservice Solutions
93 Stephen Dent, Dent Design Hardware
94 Keith Hartharn, senior project manager, C&C Catering Equipment
95 Simon Parry, area sales manager, RH Hall
96 Noel Baker, MD, Craven & Co
97 Kieron Baker, business development manager, Lincat
98 Andy Sprott, MD C&C Catering Engineers
99 Lugano Kapembwa, co-founder and CEO, Loopcycle
100 Malcolm Harling, sales and marketing director, Williams Refrigeration

Tags : awardseventFEAfea conferencesocial media
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. 7.5k views on my Beer Station video and not even considered for the top 100 pop pickers? Feel a bit left out if I’m honest. Well done to all of those who made the grade.

    1. Stick with what you do Chris Currie, it’s quite apparent that this is not a reflection on true Social Media Influencers…your content is spot on 👍

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