Diversified Communications UK, the organiser of the Casual Dining trade show, has confirmed the show has sadly been postponed from next March due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and government restrictions.
The UK’s only event dedicated to the casual dining sector (multisite and independent restaurants, pubs and bars) will now take place on 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London.
In better news for the hospitality industry, this means that Casual Dining will run at the same time as its award-winning sister show lunch! (the definitive event for cafes, coffee shops and food-to-go) and the much-anticipated London debut of Commercial Kitchen (the essential event for kitchen innovations) next year.
The magnitude and unprecedented scale of the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent government restrictions have affected the lives and livelihoods of people and businesses around the world. The hospitality sector in the UK has been especially badly hit, despite a lack of evidence of their role in transmission.
While the UK’s strict lockdown measures are expected to ease over the coming months, social distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings look to remain in force for March 2021. Notably, many Casual Dining exhibitors and visitors are among the millions of people currently furloughed, which makes it even harder for firms to plan their stands and product launches at this time.
Eva Ellis, event manager for Casual Dining says: “Like all businesses, we have been closely following the rapidly changing developments during these difficult times. While we were hopeful that the current tough measures on restricted social interaction would be lifted by March, there are still too many questions surrounding hotels, travel, social distancing, and individual company policies, to make it viable to run Casual Dining in March 2021.
"Clearly, the best, safest and most responsible option for everyone involved is to wait and host an even better show in September 2021 alongside lunch! and Commercial Kitchen. We believe this model will give all our valued exhibitors and buyers even more opportunities to do business, in an even safer environment, when they need it most.
“The success as well as the safety of our exhibitors, visitors, speakers and partners has always been our priority and we are pleased that everyone is getting behind this tough but necessary decision. The good news is that most of the event planning is already in place, and we go into 2021 with an incredible amount of goodwill and encouragement.
"The team would like to thank the whole community for their support. We look forward to working together to ensure that it continues to be the celebration and gathering the hospitality industry deserves – and can be proud of.”
Casual Dining, lunch! and Commercial Kitchen will take place on 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London. Although the three shows will maintain separate identities and focus, buyers and exhibitors will benefit from a boost in seeing an even greater range of products and customers.
Chris Brazier, group event director for the shows, adds: “All three shows focus on innovation and inspiration for hospitality operators. There is a great potential for collaboration and there is certainly more of a crossover of attendees than ever before as innovative and resilient brands pivot to become multichannel operators in testing times. We are thrilled to offer this strategic co-locate and feel that all three events will benefit hugely from this move. While all three will remain separate shows, they will in effect create one much larger hospitality event for the industry at the time that it needs it most.”
Casual Dining, two-time winner of Best UK Trade Show, was created with industry leaders to provide the focal point for the sector eight years ago. It enjoys unrivalled support from the biggest buyers and decision-makers from multisite restaurants, pubs and bars, who have rallied behind their industry show:
- Martin Wolstencroft, CEO of ARC Inspirations, comments that he is “really looking forward to the Casual Dining show 2021 to get the juices flowing again!”
- “There’s never been a more important time to support each other and our industry show,” says James Spragg, CEO of the Big Table Group (formerly CDG).
- Mark Teed, head of food at Star Pubs & Bars, is also looking forward to getting back to the show: “After turbulent times, Casual Dining 2021 will be the place to share new ideas, pursue new opportunities and celebrate new game changers in our industry.”
- “We need to get together, find innovation and support each other more than ever. See you at Casual Dining 2021,” says Steven Mangleshot, executive chef at wagamama.
- This is echoed by Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzurri Group (ASK Italian, Zizzi, Coco Di Mama) who says, “we’re looking forward to the most important Casual Dining show yet in 2021.”
For more information, visit www.casualdiningshow.co.uk, www.lunchshow.co.uk and www.commercialkitchenshow.co.uk