New Casual Dining Show proves huge success

Casual Dining Show 2014
10/03/2014 - 09:14
The Casual Dining Show proved a big hit with buyers last week – attracting 3,655 attendees (excluding revisits) from across the industry.

The two day show, which opened at the Business Design Centre in London on 26-27 February, offered established and new casual dining operators the opportunity to meet up with existing and potential suppliers, to network, discover new products, and keep up with changing market trends.

Louise Direito, from the pipeline innovation team at YUM Restaurants International, was a satisfied attendee.  “Casual Dining is an excellent show.  It is great to have an event that finally brings the industry together.

“Casual Dining was packed full of quality seminars with excellent speakers and great suppliers,” agrees Paul Pavli, operations director at Punch Taverns.  “It’s a trade show that I’m sure will become a must do every year.”

Anthony Pender, managing director at The Yummy Pub Co (who appeared at the show as part of the Future Directions of the Pub Sector panel, hosted by Propel Info’s managing director Paul Charity), was equally upbeat – calling Casual Dining a “welcome change” to the trade show calendar, and complimenting its “diversity of stands”.  He added that he “would definitely recommend more pub operators visiting Casual Dining next year”.

Some of the UK’s biggest pub groups and branded restaurant chains attended the show – including Amber Taverns, Ask Italian Restaurants, Browns Restaurant & Bar, Carluccio's, Drake & Morgan, Enterprise Inns, Fuller, Smith & Turner, Giraffe Concepts, Gondola Group, Greene King, Hard Rock International, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, JD Wetherspoon, LAS Iguanas, Living Ventures, Mitchells and Butlers, Nando's, Spirit Pub Company, T G I Fridays UK, The Restaurant Group, Tragus, Wagamama, Wahaca, Whiting & Hammond, Whyte & Brown, Yo! Sushi, and Zizzi Restaurants.

More than 1,300 independent outlets were also represented; of those, around a fifth (21%) cited a corporate spend in excess of £500,000.

Group event manager Chris Brazier is delighted with the feedback from the event: “Big thanks really must go to all our exhibitors and partners who have supported the launch of Casual Dining right from the start. We knew that expectations were going to be high – particularly because there’s been nothing quite like it before.  But the way it has been so positively received – by thousands of suppliers and operators, from right across the UK – has been truly amazing.

Looking ahead to 2015, Diversified UK estimates that over 85% of the show’s 118 exhibiting companies will rebook (many have already requested to increase the size of their stands).
Casual Dining Innovation Challenge Gold Award winners were Haywood Drink Products for Liquor Whipped – a 14% premium vodka infused drink and dessert topping; and Purbeck Ice Cream for Dorset Blue Vinny Ice Cream – a natural and versatile ice cream made with Dorset Blue Vinny Cheese.

The results of the Casual Dining Interior Design Award Winners are: Best Designed Independent Restaurant winner went to Graze Bar, Brewery & Chophouse in Bath, Best Designed Multiple Restaurant winner was awarded to Vapiano with sites in Austria and Germany. Meanwhile Best Designed Casual Dining Pub winner went to No 11 Pimlico Road, London.

Casual Dining (including the Design Awards and Innovation Challenge Live) will return to the Business Design Centre, Islington, London, on 25-26 February 2015.

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