The industry will be flocking to the Birmingham NEC on June 4-5 for the latest instalment of Commercial Kitchen. This year is poised to be its most compelling yet with an unrivalled mix of new catering equipment solutions and keynote speakers from the sharp edge of the industry, promises event manager Katie Tyler.
Commercial Kitchen is now in its fourth year. Does the ethos of the show remain the same as when it was originally launched?
Absolutely. Commercial Kitchen was launched at the request of the industry and their need for a dedicated trade show — a show which focuses on back-of-house innovation, where the quality of buyers rather than the number of visitors is the most important thing.
While the show is constantly evolving, we’re proud to have always stayed true to our mission of being completely focused on this industry, which is what makes the show truly unique. The level of support from leading operators, exhibitors, associations, and project houses has been outstanding and has increased year-on-year. We continue to be thankful to everyone who supports their industry show.
The show is naturally focused on kitchen and catering equipment – and connecting the buyers and sellers that operate within those remits. How important is it to maintain that level of focus when delivering such a show?
It’s hugely important. Whilst there are many great trade shows out there, Commercial Kitchen is the only UK show completely focused on solutions for professional kitchens. We want to continue to deliver an event purely for decision makers from the sector we are proud to serve.
We are confident Commercial Kitchen delivers on its simple premise of being completely dedicated to the commercial kitchen industry. So, if you’re a buyer of equipment or kitchen services, you know that every exhibitor has relevant products for you and every exhibitor knows that every buyer is a senior decision maker – we don’t allow students or the public to our events. Commercial Kitchen is all about the quality of audience, comprising of end user operators (who make up 60% of attendees), distributors, and consultants.
You have a great speaker line-up planned again this year – who can visitors look forward to hearing talk about their business and kitchens?
For our fourth edition, we have upped our game by adding an additional seminar theatre giving visiting buyers even more content. Across the two days we have our best ever seminar programme and all the sessions are completely free to attend when registering for the show in advance.
I can reveal that Jon Knight, CEO, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group and Mos Shamel, CEO, Las Iguanas will be appearing in live exclusive interviews on day one and two respectively. Other highlights include an exclusive session, chaired by Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality, discussing the positive impact businesses that revolve around kitchens have on our economy. Back by popular demand, our lead partner Ceda will also be running the unmissable ‘Award Winning Kitchen Design’ panel session, featuring winners from the Ceda Grand Prix Design Awards.
We have upped our game by adding an additional seminar theatre, giving visiting buyers even more content”
What else will the panel sessions entail this year?
We’ll be covering a variety of topics including technology in kitchens, sustainability, maintenance and attracting the next generation, but also focusing on cuisines including Italian kitchens, vegan and vegetarian kitchens and Indian kitchens. Additionally, we have our first ever contract caterer panel, featuring Amadeus and CH&Co and we will once again have an executive chef panel.
What sort of vibe are you getting from suppliers at the moment? Do you get a sense that it is a big year for product launches or will suppliers be focusing more on reinforcing existing solutions?
The foodservice industry has had its fair share of challenges and economic uncertainty, but suppliers are still innovating to stay at the top of their game. This is reflected in our Innovation Challenge Gallery as we have had a record number of new product entries. I think when times get tougher, even if suppliers don’t have new products to launch, it is more important than ever to reinforce existing solutions and shout about their brand successes.
What do you think will be the hot topics at the show this year?
A recurring trend we have seen from operators is a focus on efficiency, which is why we have included a panel on sustainable kitchens, featuring The Restaurant Group, Costa Coffee and Tortilla, discussing their commitment to making their kitchens greener.
Innovation is also high in buyers’ agendas. Commercial Kitchen strives to be the only show for kitchen innovations and our operating audience visit over the two days with the main aim of seeing new products and finding solutions for to assist in running their kitchens more smoothly.
Will you be introducing anything new or different this year – or is it more important not to change a winning format?
We are always looking at ways to grow Commercial Kitchen, but to grow it responsibly and keep our ethos of being dedicated, targeted and focused to catering equipment and services. Expect to see some exciting new features for our fourth edition, such as the second seminar theatre, a VIP club, a Ceda advice clinic and a few other surprises along the way!
Commercial Kitchen is the Supporting Partner of the 2019 FEJ Awards. For more details visitwww.commercialkitchenshow.co.uk or follow @comkitchenshow