Casual Dining will return to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on 24-25 February with over 170 food, drink and equipment companies exhibiting. From big brands to emerging startups, the exhibitor line-up is comprehensively eclectic. Confirmed names for 2016 include Sacla’ Professionale, Britvic Soft Drinks, Martin Mathew & Co, Fresh Direct, Reynolds, SFD, Ornua Ingredients UK, Sea Products International, Norwegian Seafood Council, La Tua Pasta, L’Aquila, Capreolus Fine Foods, JJ Food Service & Lavazza, The FoodFellas, Joe Delucci’s, Marine Ices, Keck Pasta, Destiny Foods, Luscombe Drinks, Bottlegreen Drinks, and Major International.
Beer and wine have always been a crucial element in a hotel’s menu, but with more competition for customer’s loyalty, differentiation can be key. This year’s Casual Dining will offer buyers its biggest choice of beer, wines, ciders, spirits and mixers yet.
New exhibitors for 2016 include wine wholesaler Morgenrot, Jascots Wine Merchants, Budweiser Budvar UK, and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks from Australia. Lovo Drinks, Southern Wine Roads and Bimber Distillery will also be making their debut in the show’s Artisan Spirit & Cocktail Lounge (joining returning exhibitors Sipsmith Independent Spirits, Harry Brompton’s Alcoholic Ice Tea, Pontoon Cocktails, Warner Edwards Distillery and Green Box Drinks Company, whose brands include Element 29 Vodka and Boxer Gin).
New craft beer and cider offerings – seen by many as a natural extension of the fashionable foodie revolution (promoting local sourcing, artisan methods, good values and taste), are renowned for giving customers an even greater choice of styles and flavours. According to a report by Mintel, published just over a year ago, ‘one in five Brits (20%) have drunk craft beer in the past six months’. This rises to almost a third (31%) of UK millennials – by definition, the next generation of consumers and a big target market for many operators.
Buyers looking to expand their stock of independent craft beers and ciders can enjoy tasting at the show’s Craft Beer & Cider Showcase. Featured exhibitors include Wobblegate Juice & Cider, West Side Drinks, Green’s gluten free beer, Bear Brewing Co, The Redchurch Brewery, Black Isle Brewing Co, Innis & Gunn, Thistly Cross Cider, Freedom Brewery, Hepworth & Co Brewers, and Crafted.
The Keynote Theatre meanwhile, one of the show’s most commented upon features, will be back with another ‘high profile’ programme for 2016. Steve Richards, CEO of Casual Dining Group (formerly Tragus), will be sharing insights on ‘Refreshing a brand’, and discussing how they evolved and improved key brands like Bella Italia and Café Rouge to keep them relevant, fresh and better than ever.
Highlights also include exclusive interviews with Simon Kossoff, chief executive of Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s, Luke Johnson, chairman of private equity firm Risk Capital Partners (well-known for his involvement in growing the Pizza Express, Giraffe, Strada, and Patisserie Valerie brands), and Wagamama’s chief executive David Campbell.
Keith Bird, chief operating officer at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Paul Pavli, operations director of Punch Taverns, Mark McQuater, chief executive of Revolution Bars Group, Martin Morales, founder of Ceviche, Mark Linehan, managing director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and Mark McCulloch, founder and group CEO of WE ARE Spectacular also feature in the 17-strong, two-day seminar programme.
Representatives from The Savoy, Holiday Inn, Ibis, Metro Inns, Hilton Worldwide, Hallmark Hotels – and hundreds of independent hotels, are among the ‘who’s who’ of buyers that have already pre-registered to visit.
For further information and to register for a free trade ticket, please visit our website and quote priority code HB3.
Opening times – 10am to 5pm both days (last entry 4pm)
Dates – Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th February
Venue – The Business Design Centre in Islington, London
Website – www.casualdiningshow.co.uk