Having sold out of all exhibition space last week, Casual Dining organiser Diversified Communications UK says its new trade event for the casual dining sector is well on track to being its most successful launch ever.
Demonstrating the show’s enormous breadth of appeal to the UK’s pub and restaurant operators, visitor pre-registrations for Casual Dining have been averaging a hundred per day since the beginning of February. In the past 24 hours alone, over 210 buyers and senior decision makers from 87 towns and cities across the country have added their details. Over two thousand are expected to attend when doors open at the Business Design Centre in London on Wednesday 26 February.
The inaugural exhibitor list – now 118-strong – is certainly the show’s biggest draw. And it’s quite a line-up. From the first companies to book a year ago (Robot Coupe, Karimix UK, JDM Food Group, and The Handmade Cake Company) to the latest companies to confirm their presence (Buzz Catering Supplies, Stokes Sauces, Magnesol XL, KOBAS, MemSec EPoS, and kitchen canopies supplier Mansfield Pollard) – the full spectrum of casual dining suppliers (from food to tableware to appliances) are well represented.
Widespread support from across the industry has also helped to shape Casual Dining’s Keynote Theatre programme. Pizza Hut Restaurants’ CEO Jens Hofma and Loungers’ MD Alex Reilley are just two of the event’s big name speakers. Panel sessions chaired by CGA Peach and Propel Info meanwhile promise plenty of lively discussions about future trends – and the continuing success – of the casual dining sector. Yo! Sushi’s CEO Robin Rowland, Carluccio’s MD Simon Kossoff, Living Ventures’ co-founder Tim Bacon, Ian Neill, chairman of Las Iguanas, and leading analyst Peter Martin, will feature in the former. Paul Charity, MD of Propel Info, host of the latter, will be joined by Brian Whiting, MD of Whiting & Hammond, Steve Haslam, co-founder of TLC Inns, Anthony Pender, co-founder of Yummy Pubs, and the ALMR’s chief executive David McHattie.
The Casual Dining Innovation Challenge Award finalists have also been announced today. Taking place on Thursday 27 February, the Innovation Challenge celebrates truly innovative ideas in the casual dining market. It offers a unique opportunity for buyers to see participating exhibitors ‘pitch’ their new product innovations and ideas live to an illustrious panel of industry judges (starting at 11.10am, with the results to be announced at 1.15pm that afternoon).
Shortlisted finalists (whose products will be on display in the Innovation Challenge Showcase throughout the event) include Catersave Europe (Cutlery Polisher); Disotto Foods (Fruitfull Range, Non Alcoholic Tiramisu & Vero Gelato Range); Haywood Drink (Liquor Whipped); Lutosa UK (Lutosa Rustic Slices); McCain Foodservice (McCain Signatures – Gastro Thick Cut Chips & McCain Signatures – Skin-on Fries); London Velvet; Pidy (Spicy Cups); Purbeck Ice Cream (Dorset Blue Vinny Ice Cream); mySmartPhoneMoney; Winterhalter (PT Series & UC Series DeMatik).
To register for a free trade pass to Casual Dining on 26-27 February, at the Business Design Centre in London, click here. Free registration for trade visitors closes at 5pm on Tuesday 25 February, after which a £20 door charge will apply.