Suppliers battle to pitch to biggest kitchen equipment buyers in the business

A handful of catering equipment suppliers will next week try to convince a panel of some of the biggest foodservice buyers in the business that their products are the next best thing to hit the market.

Apicbase, Ascentia, Gamble Foodservice Solutions, Rational and The Airedale Group are among the entrants to the Innovation Challenge Awards that will take place at the 2018 Casual Dining Show.

The five, along with a raft of food and drink suppliers, are bidding to get through to the final of the competition, where they will come face to face with a crack industry judging panel.

The judges include Glenn Evans, head of food development, at Las Iguanas, La Tasca and La Vina, Antony Bennett, head of food at Loungers, Simon Xavier, executive chef – leisure division at The Restaurant Group (pictured), Alice Elwes, group head of purchasing at Côte Brasserie, Chris Knight, group executive chef at Young’s & Geronimo Inns, and Megan Lewis-Thomas, head of food development & marketing concessions, franchising & new concepts at Casual Dining Group.

Between them the judges will decide which products will come away with gold, silver or bronze innovation awards.

Voting opens to visitors at the Innovation Challenge Gallery on the first day of the show, with those securing the most votes progressing through to the final the following day. They will each be given a few minutes to pitch their product to the judges.

Apicbase is putting forward its APIC Studio and Kitchen Manager system; Ascentia is showing its HOP ‘Air Fryer’; Gamble will be highlighting its Hatco Induction, Rational will be promoting ConnectedCooking 2.0 and The Airedale Group will be aiming to impress judges with its Lighthouse asset management system.

The Casual Dining Show takes place on 21-22 February at the Business Design Centre in London.




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