Restaurant, bar and pub operators from the country’s top sites and brands flocked to ExCeL London last week to attend hospitality exhibition, Casual Dining Show, contributing to a 5% rise in visitor attendance for 2019.
Held between 27-28 February, the show saw 220 exhibitors, 50 keynote speakers in two standing-room only theatres, and 5,038 attendees (up 5% on 2018) pack the halls of the ExCeL, where the exhibition was held for the first time.
Buyers from brands such as Azzurri Group, BaxterStorey, Benugo, Las Iguanas, Pizza Hut, Oakman Inns and Michells & Butlers went along to check out new innovations and hear from some industry experts on dining trends, buying patterns and market disrupters over the next 12 months.
Casual Dining’s two Keynote Theatres were a hive of activity throughout, hosting some of the biggest names in the business, including: Kate Nicholls (UKHospitality), Jens Hofma (Pizza Hut Restaurants UK), Alex Reilley (Loungers), David McDowall (BrewDog) and Anna-Marie Mason (Mitchells & Butlers).
Simon Stenning, founder of FutureFoodservice.com, CGA (Fiona Speakman), and Peter Backman delivered essential market updates and overviews of the latest trends to watch.
Peter Martin, director of CM&Co and founder of The Atlantic Club, chaired seven panels and interviews, including Steve Richards, in his last interview as CEO of The Casual Dining Group.
“Casual Dining is where the industry does business,” says event manager Eva Ellis. “Once again, it welcomed leading innovators, influencers, trailblazers, key buyers and senior decision makers – the who’s who of this dynamic sector – in their thousands. This year’s stand-out, sell-out edition at its new home of London ExCeL was easily our biggest, busiest and best yet.”
65% of exhibitors have already rebooked stands for next year.
The best new casual dining innovations of the year were also revealed at Casual Dining 2019.
Casual Dining will return to ExCeL London on 25-26 March 2020. For further information, please visit www.casualdiningshow.co.uk.