Casual Dining Secures Stellar Keynote Line-Up For Launch Next Month

All eyes will be on London next month as Casual Dining, the UK's first dedicated trade event for the casual dining sector, launches into action on 26-27 February at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Already supported by a host of industry big hitters, the latest names to lend their expertise to speaker duties are Robin Rowland, chief executive of Yo! Sushi, Simon Kossoff, chief executive of Italian restaurant and food shop chain Carluccio's, Tim Bacon, co-founder and MD of restaurant and bar group Living Ventures, and Ian Neill, chairman of Las Iguanas and a non-executive director at Jamie's Italian.

Rowland, Kossoff, Bacon, and Neill, will head up the show's highly-anticipated CGA Peach Panel - The Chain Gang, chaired by industry analyst Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach.

Drawing on their extensive management skills and entrepreneurial experience, the session, which takes place at midday on Wednesday 26 February, will explore how the UK's branded restaurant sector has transformed the way Britons eat out, and outline the challenges and opportunities ahead for the highly competitive casual dining market over the next 12 months.

Another new name joining the Keynote line-up is Alan Kay, the former CFO of The Fat Duck Group.  Host of the aptly titled 'A recipe for financial success', Kay's session will focus on some of the key ingredients that can enable businesses to gain important insight into aspects of their operations that can then be turned into financial success.

The free Keynote programme includes previously confirmed sessions by Alex Reilley, MD of Loungers; Andrew Guy, CEO of Ed's Easy Diner; Peter Backman, MD of Horizons; Simon Stenning, foodservice strategy director at Allegra; Jason Katz, founding partner at Kings Park Capital; Scott Elliott, director at CGA Peach; Paul Charity, MD of Propel Info; Mark McCulloch, founder of Spectacular Marketing; and Jens Hofma, CEO of Pizza Hut Restaurants.

"The UK casual dining sector is more vibrant than ever," comments Hofma. "As a result, UK consumers now have access to a broader range of experiential eating-out occasions.  This creates worthwhile jobs, economic value and, ultimately, more fun and excitement in people's everyday lives.  The Casual Dining trade show sends a strong signal that our sector is no longer in its infancy but is a positive force to be reckoned with in the UK Economy."

"We are delighted to welcome such prominent industry figures to the Casual Dining Keynote Theatre," says event manager Chris Brazier.  "It's an impressive line-up for any show - let alone a launch - and a fabulous endorsement for Casual Dining moving forward.  From the speakers to the exhibitors and the visitors themselves - the who's who of the sector will be at this show doing business.  It's going to be a very busy and productive two days."

With the launch now just seven weeks away, the latest exhibitors to confirm their presence are McCain, Gram, Adande Refrigeration, United Coffee, Teapigs, Purbeck Ice Cream, Electrolux, Pacific West, Winterhalter, Southern Salads, and La Tua Pasta.

To view the current Casual Dining exhibitor list (to date), please visit

For further information, please visit To register in advance for a free trade pass, please visit


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