Casual Dining 2020, the UK trade show dedicated to the casual dining sector, has been postponed to 14 to 15 July due to the coronavirus.
Set to run at Excel centre in London from 25 to 26 March, it had planned to host more than 200 exhibitors showcasing food, drink and kitchen equipment.
Executives at Diversified Communications, the organiser behind the show, took the decision on 11 March to postpone it.
In a statement, Casual Dining group event director Chris Brazier said: "Events have continued to unfold at speed. We have therefore made the very difficult decision to postpone the event, due to the magnitude of the unanticipated public health and safety issues posed by the rapidly escalating COVID-19 outbreak."
It has revealed today (13 March) the event will go ahead on 14 to 15 July. Brazier said: "I know that the community will continue to support each other during these difficult weeks, and we look forward to seeing you on 14 to 15 July for the biggest celebration of our industry yet.”
The twitter account has been renamed to say ‘Casual Dining – Postponed’.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The effects of coronavirus are being felt across not only the casual dining sector, but also the events industry. The health of guests has to be paramount and so this is a sensible if disappointing decision to have to make. Like the rest of the sector, the Casual Dining Show will come back bigger and stronger.”
It comes as the government considers whether to limit large public gatherings to slow the spread of coronavirus. Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, has said she is 'minded' to bar all gatherings of more than 500 people.
The news followed an announcement from William Reed Business Media postponing its NEC UK Food Shows. Managing director of exhibitions Andrew Reed said: “This decision has not been taken lightly, we have been following government and WHO advice to continue as planned however it is now more likely under the government’s ‘delay’ phase large scale events will be prohibited before the end of March.”
The Food & Drink Expo, Farm Shop & Deli Show and National Convenience Show have been moved to 7-9 September. The Foodex and Ingredients Show has been postponed until 12-14 April 2021, to coincide with the 2021 running of the William Reed UK Food Shows.