The biggest hospitality show in the UK is set to return today, after a significant facelift enacted by organiser Fresh Montgomery.
What used to be called Hotelympia is now the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Show (HRC) and is a focused 3-day event, taking place once again at London’s ExCeL until 5 March.
Following the format change at the 2018 edition, the four co-located show areas return: The Professional Kitchen Show, The Foodservice Show, The Hospitality Tech Show and the Interiors & Tabletop Show.
The lion’s share of exhibitors relevant to the UK catering equipment dealer network will be found in the HRC Show’s appliance innovation-dedicated Professional Kitchen Show. However, some dealers themselves have bagged themselves stands in this event, mainly as part of the new Cedabond Village. The buying consortium has linked up with the show to provide a specific space where operators can quiz its experienced distributor members about specifying and designing their dream kitchens.
Another new innovation is the CESA Trend Trails – though the organisation will be using the show to rebrand to FEA, the Foodservice Equipment Association. Dealers and operators can follow the trails to find specific equipment solutions for whatever demands are currently forefront for them. For example, technologically advanced dishwashers can reduce water, energy and chemical consumption, reducing costs and enhancing sustainability credentials.
Visitors can pick up their Trend Trails map from the CESA stand, P621. Each trail will lead the visitor to a variety of companies whose equipment can help with a specific pain. The trials cover six broad areas, sustainability, cost management, operational, staff, customer focus and food. Each area is subdivided – for example, ‘Food’ has two trails, one covering food safety and the other food and flavour trends.
HRC estimates it will welcome 600 suppliers from all sectors of the supply chain, offering a wealth of networking opportunities with around 20,000 visitors due to stream through the doors of ExCeL.
One element attracting more high powered attendees is the HRC Buyers Club scheme. This is aimed at bringing together the UK’s most influential procurement and purchasing professionals from leading hotels, restaurants and catering businesses.
The Club provides one-night hotel accommodation near the venue with free parking, exclusive content, an invitation to the HRC Street Food Festival, and unlimited access to ‘The Terrace’, the event’s VIP Lounge. In exchange, Buyers Club members will commit to conducting a minimum of eight pre-arranged appointments with hospitality and foodservice suppliers.