Luke Johnson and Simon Kossoff to share insight into casual dining success

Pizza Express restaurant

Organisers of the Casual Dining show have confirmed that they have secured a number of well-known restaurant giants to speak at next year’s show.

Luke Johnson, Simon Kossoff and Steve Richards are all set to appear at the event, which returns to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on 24-25 February next year.

Luke JohnsonJohnson, chairman of private equity firm Risk Capital Partners (right), has agreed to take part in an exclusive interview where he will discuss how he become one of Britain’s most successful foodservice investors. He is well-known for his involvement in growing the Pizza Express, Giraffe, Strada, and Patisserie Valerie brands.

He’ll be sharing his experiences in the UK casual dining sector – and its future prospects – with Propel’s managing director Paul Charity.

Steve Richards, CEO of Casual Dining Group, which owns the Café Rouge, Las Iguanas and Bella Italia brands, and Simon Kossoff, chief executive of Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s, will also share their views on life at the top end of the casual dining scene.

Anthony Pender, chairman of The British Institute of Innkeeping and managing director of Yummy Pub Co, is also set to speak at the show and will head up a panel session featuring a host of well-known pub operators, including Brian Whiting, managing director of Whiting & Hammond.

As in previous years, Horizons’ Peter Backman will also be back to report on the latest trends and developments in the ‘thriving’ casual dining market, now said to be worth over £7bn.

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