Better Hospitality Conference

A full day event in London and online bringing together some of the brightest minds in the food industry for talks, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities.

21st March at the Excel, London as part of the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Show

Covering four key themes

the line up

The Better Hospitality Conference will include hands-on sessions by more than 20 speakers from across the food and hospitality industries, as well as networking opportunities over drinks. See session details below.

10:30-11:30am Communicating sustainability, clearly, accurately and efficiently

Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Anya Doherty, Fidelity Weston, Mark Selby, Edwina Hughes

An interactive workshop style session with an introduction from labelling, behaviour change and carbon footprinting experts covering perspectives from farm to menu. Following the discussion we’ll be digging deeper as a group to discuss and explore the challenges and potential solutions for communicating sustainability, clearly, accurately and efficiently. Fundamental to this discussion will be the question: how do we ensure that consumers can trust that the food they are sold is truly sustainable, while still motivating and enabling farmers to do the right thing for their particular piece of land without extensive extra work and cost?

11:30am-12:30pm Sustainable sourcing – why you need to consider how soil health is linked to gut health, nutrient density and taste

Julie Cleijne, Tom Denman

With so much focus on carbon emissions, soil health can often get overlooked, yet soil health is central to environmental regeneration, carbon sequestration and biodiversity. It is also closely linked to nutrient density and gut health and the great thing is that mostly people can taste the difference. In this joint presentation from chef nutritionist Julie Cleijne and her farming partners, we’ll be hearing what this means for hospitality when it comes to sourcing ingredients and looking at their Scope 3 emissions strategy. We’ll also get an understanding of some of the challenges farmers face in measuring carbon and transitioning to regenerative farming. The following session will explore in more detail how hospitality operators and chefs can best support farmers in making this transition.

1-2pm How can chefs and farmers work closer together for a better food system?

Richard Gladwin, Pete Thomson, Catherine Chong, Domini Hogg

There’s a lot of pressure on both chefs and farmers to ensure more sustainable food, yet with farmers based mostly in rural areas and chefs in urban areas, the geographical disconnect can mean that through lack of communication and understanding opportunities to support each other are missed. In this session with a mixed panel of chefs and farmers, we will be discussing how chefs and farmers can work more closely together for the benefit of everyone involved as well as the food system as a whole. Specifically we will be considering opportunities to reduce waste, better manage risk, shorten supply chains, and change consumer behaviour.

2-3pm Staffing solutions: How to attract and retain a happy hospitality team

James Lemon, Steve Rockey, Dan Hudson, Mark McCulloch, Sarah Hammond

With staff shortages causing an industry-wide crisis, finding ways to attract employees, build your reputation as a good employer, and ensure you are creating a happy, inclusive and motivating work environment that will help you retain as many employees as possible is essential. Joining us on this panel are operators with strong retention and recruitment strategies, and industry experts such as Dan Hudson, founder of Gigl a platform that enables candidates to apply by video rather than with a written CV enabling them to demonstrate themselves at their best in a way that is most relevant for hospitality.

3-4pm Future proofing your business: how to succeed at serving customers at home

Michael Tingsager, Nish Bhattarai, Julie Kleeman, JP Then

While the pandemic is hopefully behind us, consumer demand for food options and experiences at home seems to be here to stay. Figuring out how you can make the most of this new market to serve customers at home, could help you both generate more revenue now and ensure your business is more resilient in the face of future crises. In this panel we will hear from operators who have succeeded with a wide range of solutions for serving customers at home and have chosen to continue offering and growing these solutions alongside their in-house dining models. We will also hear from JP Then, Founder of Slerp, on how you can offer delivery direct to customers without the need to work through a delivery marketplace.

4-5pm Achieving net zero

Simon Heppner, Ellie Besley-Gould, Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Ian Peart, Sam Jones, Tom Mcmanus

The climate crisis requires urgent action from all businesses and getting it right will allow you to recruit and retain the best employees, win new customers and comply with government reporting requirements.

In this session the Net Zero Now team brings together hospitality business leaders with a variety of perspectives on how to develop a credible climate strategy, including practical guidance on how to calculate your carbon footprint, set reduction targets, take effective action to meet those targets, and be certified as a climate leader.

Bring your concerns, misgivings and curiosity for what we expect will be a lively Q&A!

supported by

About the speakers (A-Z)

Anya Doherty

Founder – Foodsteps

Anya is founder and CEO of Foodsteps, a technology platform enabling food businesses to measure, reduce and communicate their environmental impacts from farm-to-fork. Anya previously conducted research at the University of Cambridge into sustainable food systems and co-led the first trials into carbon footprint labelling at cafeterias in Cambridge. Foodsteps now works with a wide range of restaurants, food brands and suppliers in the UK and globally to improve environmental outcomes, and in 2020 was awarded Innovate UK’s Sustainability Innovation Fund prize.

Catherine Chong

Catherine Chong is an ecology, social, governance (ESG) advisor and activist. Catherine advises companies, institutional investors, and governments on linking corporate decisions to socio-ecological impacts, including climate-related risks. Her experience includes developing national and global sustainability accounting and reporting standards for a number of industries, including finance, food, and fashion. Catherine grew up in a farming family and saw firsthand the adverse impact of industrial farming on her family and community. In recent years she worked with a number of organisations to campaign for better food, farming, banking, and environmental policies and standards. In 2020, she co-founded Farms to Feed Us CIC to champion small-scale agroecological and regenerative farming in the UK. She is also an advisor to C.L.E.A.R., a consortium representing over 40 animal welfare, environment, farming, food, and health organisations lobbying for mandatory food labelling in the UK which tells people how our food is farmed and processed.

Dan Hudson

Founder & CEO – Gigl

Dan is the CEO of gigl, a video and mobile 1st job platform that is taking the hospitality, retail and events industry by storm. At its most basic level, the technology reduces time to hire by upto 80% and employers such as Hard Rock are filling roles within 24 hours. Today gigl has over 45,000 registered workers and is used by large restaurant groups like Tortilla and Subway, hotels groups such as Holiday Inn and The Royal National, charities such as Mind and Help the Children and hundreds of SME’s. Dan is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Technology, was previously head of Talent for large multinational companies and has run tens of thousands of hiring processes. This knowledge is now being put to solving the 400,000+ vacancies across the UK hospitality sector. When not building the future of recruitment, he can be seen trying to train his cocker spaniel puppy.

Domini Hogg

Founder – Tried & Supplied

Domini Hogg is founder of Tried & Supplied, a purchasing platform making sustainable supply chains easy by facilitating sourcing, ordering, digital management of supply chain data covering sustainability, allergens and nutrition, as well as promotion through impact reporting. In developing Tried & Supplied Domini is drawing on her extensive experience of software development and data management as well as her expertise in sustainability and knowledge of both hospitality and farming to bring chefs and producers closer together.

Edwina Hughes

Head of Engagement for Cool Food – World Resources Institute

Edwina is Head of Engagement for Cool Food at the World Resources Institute. She is responsible for recruiting and supporting organizations to reduce the climate impact of the food they serve. Partners include Panera, Harvard University, BASF, Hilton Hotels, Morgan Stanley, the cities of Milan and Toronto and a range of healthcare facilities including the Hackensack University Medical Center. Previously Edwina was Director of Corporate Responsibility for Sodexo UK & Ireland where she worked on a variety of projects including the company’s sustainable diets initiatives, the living wage, ethically sourced food and drink and employee engagement in volunteering and fundraising for the corporate foundation. Edwina has over 15 years sustainability experience spanning roles in government, private sector and nonprofit organizations. She has a 2.1 in Economics and Business and a Masters in corporate philanthropy both from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Ellie Besley-Gould

Head of Purpose – Hawksmoor

Ellie looks after sustainability and purpose at Hawksmoor and is working with Directors to implement their journey to Net Zero. Before joining the team, Ellie ran climate change NGOs for 15 years and founded The Greenish – a lifestyle and consulting platform which supports impactful, accessible changes to make homes and businesses more sustainable.

Fidelity Weston

Chair – CLEAR

Fidelity runs the family livestock farm in Kent. They have a herd of Hereford cattle a flock of Lleyn ewes and the farm is certified organic with the Soil Association and Pasture for Life with the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA). She is Vice President of the PFLA and currently Chair of CLEAR – a Consortium of 40 food, farming and civil society organisations that is campaigning for mandatory method of production labelling across all foods at all points of sale.

Ian Peart

Commercial Director – Pernod Ricard

Ian began a career in the drinks industry straight out of university, holding a variety of sales roles during a 13-year stint at Diageo. Joining Pernod Ricard UK in 2006 as Field Sales Director, he has since held several positions in the Commercial team, including: Field Sales Controller, Business Unit Controller – Grocery and Channel Director, On-Trade. Taking on a newly created role of Business Development Director in 2017, Ian was responsible for identifying, developing and accelerating growth opportunities for Pernod Ricard in the UK, including the launch of the Group’s first non-alcoholic offering, CEDER’S. Following 14 years at Pernod Ricard UK, in 2020 Ian was welcomed onto the UK Executive Committee in his current role as Commercial Director.

James Lemon

CEO & Founder – Otolo

James is CEO & Founder of Otolo, a platform everyone in hospitality, unlocking career potential with mentoring, learning, networking and more, now a seed-funded start-up and team of 15, supported by the Innovate UK programme. Blending a ‘LinkedIn for hospitality’ feel, with mentoring-technology behind the scenes, Otolo aims to support a new way for the industry to collaborate, build new skills and recovery stronger and more sustainably. James continues to lead The Growth Works, a boutique hospitality strategy and innovation consultancy, and has spent over a decade building businesses in hospitality – in hotel chains, hospitality-tech and in start-ups.

JP Then

Founder – Slerp

JP is the Founder / CEO of Slerp, a technology business for the hospitality sector enabling brands to sell direct to customers via digital channels. Slerp works with the likes of Ottolenghi, JKS Restaurants, Itsu, The Savoy and Eataly to name a few. JP is also the Co-Founder of Crosstown, an omni-channel bakery brand established in 2014, specialising in handmade doughnuts, cookies and ice cream. Crosstown has multiple sites throughout London and is currently expanding to new areas in the UK. In 2019 JP was named by Bumble as one of the top 50 people shaping London. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, grew up in Brisbane, Australia and has lived in London for the past 12 years.

Juliane Caillouette-Noble

Managing Director – The Sustainable Restaurant Association

Managing Director, The Sustainable Restaurant Association Juliane Caillouette Noble came to the Sustainable Restaurant Association as Development Director in 2016 after five years of running Jamie Oliver’s programmes for improving school food and food education across the UK. The SRA is committed to accelerating change toward an environmentally restorative and socially progressive hospitality sector in the UK. As Managing Director, Juliane is focused on ensuring that the Food Made Good rating grows to reach restaurants across the globe- growing our network from 12,000 kitchens to 50,000 by 2025.

Julie Cleijne

Founder – Sustainable Kitchen Consultants

Julie is Founder of Sustainable Kitchen Consultants, a team of Nutrition & Sustainability trained Chefs, who work with food sector businesses to reduce their impacts on carbon emissions and improve health through menu changes, Training and implementing sustainable supplier sourcing strategies. Julie’s unique experience spans the full Farm to Fork supply chain, combining Sustainability consultant, Naturopathic Sustainable Chef, Regenerative Farming experience and strong Business acumen with 25+ years Consulting experience. She works with key actors across the full Food Supply Chain from Farmers to Chefs & Hospitality Operations, and has a deep understanding of the Environmental and Regulatory and Commercial challenges the full food sector businesses face.

Julie Kleeman

Co-owner – Taste Tibet

Julie Kleeman is the co-owner, together with her husband Yeshi, of Taste Tibet, an Oxford-based Tibetan restaurant and festival food stall. In 2021 Taste Tibet was a Best Street Food or Takeaway finalist in the BBC Food and Farming Awards. Julie is also an award-winning food writer, and her cookbook, Taste Tibet, co-authored with Yeshi, is being published by Murdoch Books in March 2022.

Mark McCulloch

Founder – Hospitality Rising

Compelled to provide a solution to the recruitment challenges facing the industry, Mark founded Hospitality Rising in 2021, and gained official backing from the Hospitality & Tourism Skills Board, UKH, BBPA and BII. Hospitality Rising seeks to unite the industry and encourage individual operators and suppliers to join forces. The ambition is a collective effort to change the perception of hospitality for the better by creating the biggest hospitality recruitment advertising campaign the industry has ever seen. He already has the backing of major operators and has enlisted the help of some of the country’s top marketing experts to drive the campaign forward and hit the £5m investment target. As one of the leading Food, Drink and Hospitality brand and marketing minds in the world, Mark has over 20 years Brand, Marketing, Digital and Social Media experience holding senior and board level positions at, Barclaycard, YO! Sushi and Pret A Manger. Mark co-founded multi-award winning Brand and Marketing agency WE ARE Spectacular in 2012 which is still going strong today. Mark is now fulfilling his lifelong ambition to live and work by the sea in Brighton where he is a Virtual Chief Marketing Officer and Brand Strategist for the best Hospitality, Tech and B2B brands in the UK and beyond.

Mark Selby

Co-founder & CEO – Wahaca

Michael Tingsager

Founder – Hospitality Mavericks

Founder and CEO of Hospitality Mavericks. We help Maverick Founders/CEO’s to unleash their team potential so they can build a business that makes profit and impact. I have been living and breathing the hospitality and restaurant industry from the day I was born, and I started working in my mum and dad’s small restaurant group in rural Denmark from an early age. I spent six years building a 20+ unit cafe chain in Denmark; +11 years working for McDonald’s Denmark and UK, and more than 8 years as a consultant working with brands across Europe. Once a week I host The Hospitality Maverick Podcast, which all about inspiring leaders that build businesses from the inside out – businesses that makes positive impact on their people, their community and the planet.

Nish Bhattarai

Marketing – Pizza Pilgrims

With a background in science and operations, Nish joined Pizza Pilgrims while they stood at 8 pizzerias, she’s helped the company grow to over 15 sites, leading innovation and new marketing trends at the company. A big believer in do first and apologise later, Nish has helped Pizza Pilgrims execute many of their marketing strategies, including Just Dough It, the Pizza Pilgrims Student Hunt and the newest PP concept Slice. During lockdown, she was a key stakeholder in helping the business pivot during the pandemic with Pizza in The Post, a business that was born out of necessity but continues to grow and thrive. The future shows Pizza Pilgrims cementing their core values, reaching into sustainability, all while maintaining growth and expanding the brand in it’s different avenues.

Pete Thompson

Managing Director – G Thompsons Farm

MD of G Thompsons family farm, Pete has transitioned the farm towards a more sustainable way of producing food using the 5 Capitals Framework to guide him. This means he has to consider not only the natural capital (earth, air, water, biodiversity etc) but also human, social, manufactured and financial capital. He specialises in producing vegetables well suited for the Asian restaurant market. The vegetable, Thompsons Leaf, has even been named after their farm because they developed it to cater for Chinese cooking practices.

Richard Gladwin

Owner – Gladwin Brothers

Richard Gladwin and his brother Oliver have pioneered the wild food trend currently sweeping Britain, bringing foraged foods as well as seasonal British ingredients and sustainable cooking to the plates of diners in relaxed and rustic settings at their award-winning restaurants, The Shed in Notting Hill, Rabbit on King’s Road, Nutbourne in Battersea, Sussex in Soho and The Fat Badger in Richmond. Much of the produce for their restaurants they source from their own family farm as well as neighbouring farms in Sussex.

Sam Jones

Head of Climate and Sustainability – Coca Cola

Sam has 12 years of experience creating, driving and leading sustainability programmes. He recently joined Coca-Cola Europacific Partners to lead on climate and sustainability in GB, having previously worked for the FTSE 100-listed DS Smith, where he established the industry-leading ‘Now and Next’ sustainability strategy, was responsible for DS Smith’s strategic partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and was heavily involved in DS Smith’s activity around science-based targets and net zero roadmaps. He has previously worked for Mars and in the agricultural division of Associated British Foods, building strategy focusing on sustainable supply chains. Sam has a background in geography and is a chartered environmentalist through the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

Sarah Hammond

Head of People – Yo! Sushi

Having trained in the world of hospitality at Westminster college, Sarah soon discovered cooking was not to be one of her talents, instead setting her sights on the heart and soul of the industry – the People!  Sarah is now UK Head of People for YO!, Panku and Taiko having joined the group 6 months.  Formally Sarah spent 16 years with The Hush Collection.

Simon Heppner

Executive Director – Net Zero Now

Having worked in climate strategy for 15 years and co-founded The Sustainable Restaurant Association, Simon had a deep understanding of both the complexities of reaching Net Zero for major organisations and the realities of life as an SME and could see the need to create a sector-specific solution that would work across businesses large and small.

Steve Rockey

People Director – The Pigs Hotels

Steve Rockey is People Director for The Pigs Hotels and Lime Wood Group; a group of award-winning boutique hotels along the South coast. The ethos behind the group is ‘restaurants with rooms’; focusing on local, sustainable produce, simple cooking and using our kitchen gardens to help create and enhance everything we do. Prior to this, Steve was Head of People at Byron during its national growth phase; growing Byron 2.5 times and helping to sell it for £100m. Leaving in 2004, he established his own People Consultancy; helping small hospitality businesses to grow through a strategic people approach before the call of The Pigs came and was too good to refuse! He’s also held HR roles in Pizza Express, Big Easy and Compass Group.

Tom Denman

Managing Director – Chefs Farms

From a conventional farming background, Tom studied agriculture and food logistics before establishing Chefs Farms, a fruit & vegetable wholesale company focused on giving the hospitality and food retail trade easy access to high quality, consciously and responsibly grown and competitively priced products. On his West Sussex Farm Tom is part of a team that includes Sustainable Kitchen Consultants, data building regenerative farming case studies via trialing methods of regenerative veg growing, and soil health repairing, with the aim of finding a low-input regenerative way of commercially growing at scale a variety of vegetable

Tom Mcmanus

Strategy & Business Development – McManus Pubs

McManus Pubs is a family owned and operated pub business based in Northamptonshire, founded in 1970 and currently operating 19 sites. They run a wide range of pubs from small wet led sites to large food led destinations. Having grown up in and around the business, Tom worked in financial services roles in London and Hong Kong before returning to join the McManus management team in 2019, focusing on strategy, operations and business development.