Leon and Costa among the chain giving keynotes at Lunch!, organisers confirm


The keynote seminar line-up at next month’s lunch! trade show has now been confirmed with high-profile brands including Starbucks, LEON, bartlett mitchell, Pret A Manger, Costa Coffee, Welcome Break, EAT., Tossed, Benugo, and Rapide by Café Rouge, set to take to the stage and share their expertise with over 6,000 visitors from across the food-to-go sector.

Returning to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on 21-22 September, the multi-award winning lunch! will also feature an exclusive interview with one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs – Luke Johnson, chairman of private equity firm Risk Capital Partners.  He’ll be discussing his involvement in food-to-go, including investments in Small Batch Coffee Co, Patisserie Valerie, The Bread Factory, Gail’s Artisan Bakery and his plans for Brighton’s Palace Pier, with Propel’s managing director Paul Charity.

Wendy Bartlett MBE, CEO and founding owner of bartlett mitchell, will also be making her lunch! debut – appearing in an exclusive ‘in conversation’ session with Peter Martin, VP of CGA Peach.  She and her business partner Ian Mitchell established bartlett mitchell in 2000 from the back bedroom of her house, with just one desk, two phones and an unwavering belief in team values.

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The formula worked and today the company is now one of the UK’s leading independent caterers, operating at nearly 90 locations, with 800+ staff and a turnover of over £35million. It’s won multiple awards for its commitment to sustainability and CSR and recently secured its first ever Investors in People Gold Award.  While Bartlett herself was awarded an MBE in 2015 for her services to the hospitality sector.  She’ll be discussing the importance of giving back to the industry, along with the story of the successful rise of bartlett mitchell, its ‘Fundamentally Food’ principles and the positioning of its ‘grab and go’ offerings, on the show’s opening day (the closing session).

Sara Bruce Goodwin, VP research & development, quality & regulatory at Starbucks Coffee Company, John Kerslake, operations director at Costa Coffee, and Kirsty Saddler, brand director at LEON are among the other big name opening day speakers also now confirmed.

Goodwin will be discussing Starbucks continued commitment to improving choice, health and wellness options for its customers, including reducing sugar, simplifying ingredients and improving nutritional information, to keep them ‘coming back for more’.

John Kerslake will outline some of the incredible changes that Costa has made in recent years – from refreshing its food and drink offering to evolving customers’ experience and taking a fresh approach to recruitment.  All whilst ensuring it doesn’t lose focus on ‘their’ people – “the most important ingredient in our coffee,” he says.

Corporate social responsibility is also a key theme in Kirsty Saddler’s session: ‘Doing the right thing, not the easy thing’. She’ll be discussing how LEON obsess over what the right thing is for their sourcing, food development, team management, customer service and with their brand. “It is not easy and it can cost more, but the returns are worth it,” she says.

Another opening day highlight is the return of popular speaker and award winning restaurant designer Afroditi Krassa. She’ll be presenting an exclusive case study of her studio’s recent rebrand and redesign of EAT. to showcase how design can act as a catalyst for change within established market leaders and inspire new ideas and experimentation.

The show’s second day boasts an equally stellar line-up, featuring, among others, David Leeper, head of coffee at FCB Artisan Espresso Bars; Andrew Stephen, the new CEO of The Sustainable Restaurant Association revealing the latest consumer trends in sustainability; Caroline Cromar, group director of food, at Pret A Manger; Rod McKie, CEO of Welcome Break, and Steve Richards, CEO of The Casual Dining Group.

Richards, who oversaw the launch of Rapide by their Café Rouge brand, will be taking part in a new ‘casual dining to go’ panel examining why they and other well-known brands are making the move into the food to go sector.

lunch! 2016 will feature over 20 free business seminars – including exclusive Keynotes, interviews, research, and panel discussions – in two dedicated theatres.  Full seminar details can be found on the website.

lunch! returns to Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on Wednesday and Thursday, 21-22 September 2016.  Register for a free trade pass here and quote priority code LUN10.

Tags : lunch!lunch! 2016Trade Show
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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