Pub chains converge on Casual Dining in search of top suppliers

Buyers take a look at what Manitowoc chefs are cooking up on Garland induction units.

A raft of the UK’s biggest pub and bar groups, including Whitbread, Mitchells & Butlers, Marston’s, Enterprise Inns, Punch Taverns, Greene King, and JD Wetherspoon will be checking out the latest catering equipment on offer after confirming their attendance at Casual Dining 2016.

The two-day trade event for the UK’s casual dining sector returns to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, in three weeks’ time on 24-25 February.

And organisers expect to see strong participation from the pub sector given the growing impact of food sales on many operators’ businesses.

As well as the largest chains with several hundred, or even thousand, sites, representatives from groups such as Cirrus Inns, Epic Pub Company, ETM Group, Fuller Smith & Turner, Oakman Inns, Peach Pubs, Revolution Bars Group, S A Brain & Co and Stonegate Pub Co have also pre-registered.

Peter Borg-Neal, chief executive of Oakman Inns & Restaurants, said the show was an essential visit for chains looking to keep up with the latest food and drink innovations, developments, and trends.

“I was very impressed by Casual Dining,” he said of the last event. “There was a well-focused line up of exhibitors and really interesting and relevant presentations.”

David George, head of food development at Greene King, agreed, calling it “a clear winner from my perspective, in terms of focus, attention to detail, accessibility and organisation.”

Anthony Pender, chairman of The British Institute of Innkeeping and MD of Yummy Pub Co, added: “Casual Dining is a welcome change to the trade show calendar. With the diversity of stands I’d definitely recommend that all pub operators visit this year.”

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