Commercial Kitchen attracted 1,775 attendees over the course of the two days it ran at the NEC in Birmingham last week, the show’s organisers have said.
Diversified Communications, which also stages Casual Dining and Lunch!, said the increase in the number of visitors through the doors included an 18% rise in “big spenders”, which it classes as buyers with more than £5m of purchasing power.
The number of visitors who influence and/or authorise purchases was also up 8%; while nearly one in four visitors said they are responsible for an annual corporate spend of over £1m.
Those decision-makers included top equipment buyers from Costa Coffee, FCB Artisan Espresso Bars, Five Guys, Gala Leisure, GBK, Greene King, Hilton, ISS, Kew Green Hotels, Marston’s, Mitchells & Butlers, Nando’s, Patisserie Valerie, Pret A Manger, Prezzo, Pub People Company, Punch Taverns, Rick Stein Group, Sainsbury’s, Sodexo, Subway, TGI Friday’s, Tortilla, Whitbread, Apetito, Brakes, Center Parcs, and Tesco.
Plus, a significant number of buyers from independent restaurants and pubs, hotels, contract caterers, attractions, hospitals, care homes, the prison service, universities, and schools from across the UK also attended.
“This is the first year I have attended Commercial Kitchen and it was a great opportunity to catch up with our current suppliers, meet new suppliers and see the latest innovative products being developed,” said Angela Course, category manager (catering & food) at ESPO.
Claire Clark MBE MGOB, owner/director of Pretty Sweet and The Claire Clark Academy for Patisserie Excellence, who spoke on stage at the show, added: “Commercial Kitchen is the ideal place to source the most up-to date kitchen equipment on the market today.”
Opening day highlights included an exclusive ‘in conversation’ session with Vivek Singh, executive chef and founder of The Cinnamon Collection, as well as panel-led discussions on sustainability, pub kitchens, kitchen design, and the important role of equipment distributors.
The show’s second day saw panels dedicated to multi-site restaurant innovation, featuring Nando’s and Red’s True Barbecue, foodservice consultants, hospital kitchens, and prison kitchens, plus the announcement of this year’s Innovation Challenge Awards winners.
Group event director Chris Brazier said he was delighted with the show. “The impact that Commercial Kitchen has made within the industry – and the wide support it’s received since its launch last year – is just incredible. The show has fast established itself as the two days a year where the industry meets, launches innovations and does business. It’s all about quality. And the quality of buyer, whether end-user, project house, distributor, or consultant, was exceptional.”
Commercial Kitchen returns to the NEC Birmingham on 5-6 June 2018. Diversified said that 65% of exhibitors have already confirmed they will attend the next edition.