Speakers confirmed for Casual Dining 2017

TGI Friday’s, Mitchells & Butler, Casual Dining Group, Bill’s, Wahaca and Côte Restaurants, are preparing to host keynote speeches at Casual Dining 2017.

Returning to the Business Design Centre in London on 22-23 February, organisers of the event have lined up exclusive keynotes and interviews with important names in the business.

Among them are Martin Robinson, non-executive chairman of CDG, Karen Forrester, chief executive of TGI Friday’s, Mark Fox, chief executive of Bill’s Restaurants, Jo Fleet, managing director of Wahaca, and Andrew Gallagher, group marketing director at Côte Restaurants.

Mark Fox, Casual dining restaurant chain Bills’ chief executive, said he’d be sharing insights into the challenges of business growth.

“It’s very important to bring all the key players, operators and suppliers together to spark innovation and to collectively address some of the macro changes that will mould the way consumers eat,” Mark said. “In a time of unprecedented political and economic uncertainty, Casual Dining gives us an opportunity to figure things out with our fellow professionals and to focus our minds on what’s important in our world.

“In my keynote session, I intend to highlight how many of the changes that we are seeing in the casual dining sector are not really new – they just haven’t happened for a while,” he added. “I will seek to demonstrate that, whilst customer habits are changing, they have, in many ways, not changed at all. As operators, we have to ask ourselves how we have changed over the past ten years and whether it’s time to undo some of those changes.”

Market updates and insights will be provided by Peter Backman, managing director of Horizons, Simon Stenning, executive director of MCA, and Kate Nicholls, chief executive of The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).

The implications of Brexit, and its effect on food inflation, consumer confidence and the economy, is just one of the hot topics Kate Nicholls is set to address in her opening day session. She’ll also be giving a comprehensive overview of the new regulatory costs of the national living wage (NLW), Apprenticeship Levy and Business Rates coming into force in April 2017.

Over 200 industry suppliers will be showcasing food and drink, equipment, table top, POS technology and services – are preparing to exhibit. For more information and to register for a free trade ticket, visit https://registration.n200.com/survey/24y1mqra1qoez?actioncode=CD30

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