Face-to-face meetings, live seminars and the chance to see the latest catering equipment up close — Commercial Kitchen is back! This year’s event takes place this week on Thursday 23 September and Friday 24 September at London ExCeL. Event manager Katie Tyler reveals why it will be the most important edition yet.
This will be the first Commercial Kitchen since before the pandemic — and the first in London. What are you looking forward to most?
It’s been two years since the last Commercial Kitchen show, and we can’t wait to be bringing the industry together for two days of face-to-face networking and business at what will be the most important trade event the industry has seen to date. I personally am looking forward to the buzz of live events and seeing old and new friends, as it really hasn’t been the same virtually.
What sort of themes can visitors expect to see at the show?
As always, Commercial Kitchen highlights industry innovation and this year has seen a record number of entries into the Innovation Challenge. Many of these products are launching at Commercial Kitchen and I think this shows how businesses are bouncing back and the industry resilience after what has been a turbulent period for foodservice equipment suppliers. Other big themes are sustainability and delivery, with many Commercial Kitchen exhibitors showcasing solutions for buyers.
The show will take place alongside sister shows Lunch! and Casual Dining. How do you expect this to affect the dynamic of Commercial Kitchen?
While we never expected to run Commercial Kitchen alongside our sister food shows Lunch! and Casual Dining, the pandemic created an opportunity for a focused industry supershow which has been well-received by the industry and visitors alike.
With over 600 exhibitors across the three events, it offers a one-stop shop for buyers looking for innovation and inspiration for this critical year ahead. While buyers can benefit from seeing an even greater range of products, each event remains distinct.
Commercial Kitchen will still very much maintain its own identity with its own show entrance and key features as in past years, such as the Keynote Theatre, the Ceda Gallery and the much anticipated Innovation Challenge.
It’s obviously been a challenging time for the industry over the past 18 months. For many buyers and specifiers, it will be the first show they have attended since before the pandemic. What do you think they are coming to the show to look for?
The feedback from buyers has been overwhelming and we are so grateful for all the support. They are excited to see what is new in the market and what solutions can be offered to assist with their kitchens. It’s been a long wait for live events, but 23-24 September will be dates worth waiting for.
Finally, you have a comprehensive speaker line-up planned. What sort of topics can visitors expect to hear industry experts discussing this year?
Our visitors can expect to see a stellar speaker line-up this year, covering everything from fine dining with industry-leading Michelin chefs to panel discussions on hotel, stadia and public sector kitchens, as well as hot topics including delivery, plant-based cuisine and sustainability. Commercial Kitchen’s charity partner, The Burnt Chef Project, will also be chairing an important panel on kitchen design for mental health.
Commercial Kitchen is the Supporting Partner of the 2021 FEJ Awards. www.commercialkitchenshow.co.uk