Diversified Communications has postponed this year’s Lunch! show due to the coronavirus – but has confirmed the event will return next year and run alongside Commercial Kitchen.
Lunch! is heavily attended by the café, coffee shop and food-to-go sector, but the magnitude of the Covid-19 outbreak has left the organisers with no choice but to cancel the 2020 edition.
It will be back on 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London, where it will run alongside catering equipment show Commercial Kitchen.
Chris Brazier, group event director at Diversified, said that many of Lunch!’s exhibitors and visitors are among the 7.5 million people currently furloughed, with tens of thousands of outlets shut until at least July, which makes it even harder for firms to plan many months ahead.
“Like all businesses, we have been closely following the rapidly changing developments during these difficult times,” he explained.
“Whilst we were hopeful that the current tough measures on restricted social interaction would be lifted by the autumn, there are still too many questions surrounding hotels, travel, social distancing measures, and individual company policies, to make it viable to run Lunch! this year.
“Clearly, the best and most responsible option for everyone involved is to wait and host an even better show in 2021.
“We appreciate how important lunch! is to the industry it serves and are very sorry to disappoint the thousands of attendees that were planning on exhibiting and visiting. However, the success as well as the safety of our exhibitors, speakers and visitors has always been our priority and we are hoping that everyone will get behind this tough but necessary decision.
“The good news is that much of the event planning is already in place, and we go into 2021 with an incredible amount of good will and support. The Lunch! team would like to thank everyone – our exhibitors, visitors, speakers and partners – for their support.”
Although Lunch! and Commercial Kitchen will maintain separate identities and focus, Mr Brazier said that visitors and exhibitors would benefit from a potential boost in seeing an even greater range of products and customers respectively.