Casual Dining 2016 opens in London next week

The casual dining sector is big business in the UK and next week it’s set to get even bigger, when Casual Dining returns to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, on 24-25 February.

The multi-award winning two day trade show is expected to attract over four thousand key buyers and decision makers from many of the country’s biggest casual dining pub groups and restaurant chains, hotels, contract caterers, and independent operators.  Over 170 leading industry suppliers – showcasing an innovative choice of food and drink, equipment, table top, POS technology and services, will be there to meet them.

“The Casual Dining show is the two days a year when our sector gets together.  It’s an essential forum for sharing new ideas, innovations and insights,” says Simon Kossoff, co-founder and chairman of Carluccio’s, who’ll be in conversation with CGA Peach’s Peter Martin at 11am in the Keynote Theatre on opening day.

Topics under discussion include the future of Carluccio’s, opening overseas, authenticity, social responsibility, maximising seasonal returns and whether appearing on TV is ever a good thing or not.

Other opening day speakers (in order of appearance) include Horizon’s Peter Backman; David McDowall, MD of bars at BrewDog; Mark McCulloch, founder and group CEO of WE ARE Spectacular; Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the ALMR; Mark McQuater, chief executive of Revolution Bars Group; and Keith Bird, chief operating officer at Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

“Casual Dining is a hotbed of innovation…the most focused, most relevant, the best show of the year,” says GBK’s Keith Bird.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association Panel (at 1.15pm) will see Joseph Evans, finance director at Oakman Inns & Restaurants, Harry Cragoe, owner of the Gallivant hotel, and chair Mark Linehan, MD of The SRA, add their insights to the hot topic of ‘fair pay’ in the hospitality industry.

Improving staff retention, engagement and empowerment is the key focus of The Training in Pubs Panel (at 3.30pm).  Chaired by Anthony Pender, chairman of The BII and MD of Yummy Pub Co, the session will feature James Nye, MD of Anglian Country Inns, and Joycelyn Neve, MD of The Seafood Pub Company.

The second day’s seminar line-up is equally impressive – kicking off at 10.15am with the exclusive unveiling of the results of CGA Peach’s Business Leaders’ Survey.  CGA Peach director Jamie Campbell will discuss this year’s findings, including the key challenges, business risks and investment opportunities facing the sector for 2016 and beyond.

He’ll be followed by one of those leaders – Steve Richards, CEO of Casual Dining Group, who’ll take to the stage at 11am.  He’ll be revealing some key insights of his own, including how CDG (formerly Tragus) have evolved and improved key brands like Bella Italia and Café Rouge.  Speaking ahead of his session, Richards says Casual Dining offers “a chance to debate and consider the big issues driving change in the casual dining market – perfect”.

Other second day highlights include exclusive ‘in conversation’ sessions with Luke Johnson, chairman of private equity firm Risk Capital Partners (talking to Paul Charity, managing director of Propel Info) and David Campbell, chief executive of Wagamama, reflecting on the evolution of the brand with CGA Peach’s Peter Martin.  Plus, there’ll be Keynotes from Martin Morales, founder of Ceviche, and Paul Pavli, operations director of Punch Taverns.

“Casual Dining gives all operators a chance to hear from peers on what they are working on, what’s going well and not so well.  It’s also a great place to sample trends, so you can make sure you are on track with your own developments,” says Pavli.  In his visitor feedback last year, he called the show “a must attend event”.

New for 2016, visitors can now plan their visit in advance via the online Show Guide, which includes full seminar details and exhibitor listings.  It’s available to view at

Casual Dining is free to attend for pre-registered trade visitors and relevant press representatives only.  To register for a free pass, please visit and quote priority code PR1 (alternatively, use direct link:


Media enquiries to:
Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
t: 44 (0)1273 645134  

Exhibitor enquiries to:
Chris Brazier, Group Event Director
t: 44 (0)1273 645123 



Casual Dining was the first launch show (UK and international) in over five years to win ‘Best Tradeshow Exhibition under 2,000sq.m’ at the Association of Event Organisers’ Excellence Awards 2014.  In 2015, it won the same award for the second consecutive year.  It was also named a finalist in the ‘Show Rising Star’ category at the Exhibition News Awards in 2015.

High res images from Casual Dining 2015 are available upon request:

Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough and Nailsworth.  In addition to Casual Dining!, Diversified UK’s event portfolio includes Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards; lunch!; Commercial Kitchen (new for 2016); Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe; Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö, Sweden (co–located with Natural Products Scandinavia); Natural and Organic Awards; camexpo; office*; Accountex; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; GEO Business; Capturing Reality; Ocean Business; MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference; Euro Bus Expo; Coach & Bus Live; British Tourism & Travel Show; The Route One Operator Excellence Awards; and National Coach Tourism Awards.  For more information, visit:

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face–to–face events, digital and print publications and television stations.  Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management.  Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 850 staff, across eight divisions in seven countries.  For more information, visit:


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