James Spragg, CEO of the Casual Dining Group, Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzurri Group and David Campbell, executive chairman at Bill's Restaurants have been confirmed as speakers at Casual Dining 2020.
The speaker line-up for next year’s show from the 25-26 March at ExCeL, London also includes Amber Wood, managing director of The Cosy Club at Loungers; Baton Berisha, managing director of The Ivy Collection; Laura Harper Hinton, owner and creative director of Caravan Restaurants; Andrew and Prannee Laurillard, founders of Thai chain Giggling Squid and Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality.
David Campbell’s speech will focus on the re-imagining of Bill’s, where almost half of the estate has already been extensively refurbished, plus talking about the new openings that are now happening.
Casual dining event manager Eva Ellis, said “We’re delighted to announce our first wave of speakers for Casual Dining 2020.”
“While we can certainly promise plenty more big name announcements over the coming weeks, it doesn’t get much bigger than CDG, Azzurri Group, Bill’s, The Ivy Collection, and Loungers – who operate some of the UK’s most well-known casual dining restaurant brands – speaking exclusively at their industry show.
A further announcement from the show organisers revealed that two of the show’s popular drinks pavilions are already sold out. Boasting a dozen exhibitors each, the Artisan Spirits Lounge and The Taphouse will sample new innovations from an exciting mix of independent breweries and distilleries.
Exhibitors in these two pavilions include: Belgrove Rum, Faith & Sons Gin, Strawbar (eau de vie spirit distilled from organic Greek strawberries) and Tarsier Spirit (Southeast Asian dry gin); Binary Botanical (a lightly sparkling table beer aimed at ‘wine lovers’), Freestar, Lucky Saint, Orbit Beers, ShinDigger Craft Beer, Small Beer Brew Co, and The Five Points Brewing Co.
The Vineyard – a new area for 2020, has been launched to sate the growing demand for wine at the show.
Ellis, added: “Offering a varied drinks menu – full of innovative styles, flavours and blends, and distinctive ‘brand’ personality – is essential for any successful restaurant, pub and bar operator. But where do you start?
“For example, according to some of the latest industry research this year: wine is the UK’s favourite alcoholic tipple, gin is the No.1 spirit, sparkling wine is booming, beer trumps wine in pubs, the premiumisation mega trend is helping drive alcohol sales, quality’s up but quantity’s down, all-the-while more British consumers generally are regularly choosing more low-and-no ABV options.
Other names announced this week include: Rémy Cointreau, LYRE'S Spirits, Soulfresh, Nirvana Brewery, Punchy Drinks, Love Drinks. Carlsberg, Mast-Jaegermeister UK, Diageo, Molson Coors Brewing Company, West Berkshire Brewery, Toschi UK, LA Brewery Kombucha and Pedrino.
Soft drinks suppliers include: Coca-Cola European Partners, Britvic Soft Drinks, Fentimans, Nix & Kix, Karma Cola, Belvoir Fruit Farms, Dalston’s, Lemonaid, Pip Organic, Batch Organics, Long Tail Mixers, Lixir Tonic and many more.