Better Hospitality Conference

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

18-19th March at the stunning Mercato Mayfair

Covering four key themes
food culture & nutrition

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. Tea and coffee will be served 9-9:30am with drinks in the wine club from 5pm and an opportunity for you to explore the street food market for lunch 12:30-2pm both days. You can see the programme details and speaker bios below. We’ll be adding to this over the coming weeks with some exciting announcements coming up.

The venue

In 2019, Mercato Metropolitano (MM), the sustainable community food market and cultural hub opened in the magnificent Grade-I listed St Mark’s Church in Mayfair, on North Audley Street. That’s when Mercato Mayfair was born, spread over four floors of spectacular food stalls: each one of them offering fresh and artisanal food and drink, carefully prepared by small independent artisans and traders, who care about where ingredients come from. Food as a community builder is at the heart of MM’s ethos. Food as it should be, nutritious and sustainably sourced (as much as possible) and above all accessible to everyone. MM’s purpose is to help shape a more sustainable food system by gradually bringing farmers and small producers closer to consumers – helping improve people’s nutritional health and reducing the wastage of our natural and environmental resources. Urban regeneration and respect for local history are also part of MM’s ethos – giving people a sense of belonging to a larger community. To this day, MM remains a staple of the London food landscape with plans for global expansion.

Monday 18th March 2024

9:30-10:30am Keynote: Growing hospitality businesses for a better food future

Henry Dimbleby

As Co-Founder of Leon, Henry knows first-hand how overwhelming it can be for hospitality businesses to consider how to drive positive change for people and planet, when just maintaining a healthy bottom line is hard enough. Yet he also knows from the extensive research he conducted for the UK government to write up the National Food Strategy how important it is for us all to be working towards a better food future. In his new book Ravenous: how to get ourselves and our planet into shape, he describes how we’ve ended up with a broken food system and how we can fix it. In this session, he will be giving an insight into his research and suggesting ways in which hospitality businesses can realistically make a difference one step at a time. This is also a fantastic opportunity to bring with you any questions you’d like to ask someone who has such a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience of our food system as a whole.

10:30-11:30 Getting started as a Sustainability Manager: delivering tangible impact with or without carbon footprinting

Domini Hogg, Susann Stritzke, Holly Letch

10:30-11:30am Should we be designing work to fit the people?

Amy Butterworth, Matthew Cameron

In an effort to retain and attract as much talent as possible, the hospitality industry has been shifting towards a more people-centric approach, but how far can we go? In the past it’s been all about creating jobs and recruiting people to do them. How far can we go in terms of re-imagining this to design the work opportunities we offer to fit the people who want to work for us? This session will explore all the various opportunities around flexible working and how hospitality businesses have benefited from implementing these.

11:30am-12:30pm Safety, suitability and sustainability: the battleground for future packaging solutions

Andrea Gutierrez Solana, Michael Tingsager, Paul Gilligan

Food safety and operational practicality are often the biggest barriers to finding sustainable packaging solutions. What are the main challenges and how are businesses overcoming these? We’ll look at packaging challenges and solutions from wholesale transportation, manufactured food products and takeaway meals, exploring the potential of innovative materials such as bespoke grown mushroom containers, collaboration between businesses, and consumer behaviour change.

11:30am-12:30pm A guide to funding and growing your business through investment, government support and acquisitions

Andrea Rasca, Emma Jones, Micaela Illy

One of the hardest things to get right for any business is the funding. This can be particularly the case for hospitality businesses investing in bricks and mortar sites before they can start trading. In this session we bring together experts from different parts of the funding and growth journey covering business support provided by the government, finding external investment and what investors look for, and managing your growth through acquisitions.

2-3pm Is AI going to kill hospitality? The threats and opportunities

Joshua Jarvis, Michael Tingsager, Brendan Kelly

Elon Musk made headlines when he said that Artificial Intelligence would kill humanity, but later seemed to backtrack on that. We’re all in trouble if he’s right, but in the meantime let’s assume we’re ok (for now at least!) and address the more immediate question of whether AI will kill hospitality. Hospitality is a fundamentally very human thing to offer and relies on nurturing real human connections, so will the increasing use of AI work against the very purpose of the industry, or, when used well, does it even have the potential to enhance our hospitality and improve on both customer and employee experience? This session will see a lively debate exploring both the threats and opportunities AI presents.

2-3pm Functional food: personalised nutrition via pills or plates

Ruwi Ratna, Luxey Dayanandan, Vidushi Binani

Increasingly people and businesses are recognising the need for personalised nutrition and the difference this makes to their wellbeing and performance. While deficiencies of nutrients can be made up by supplements, there is evidence to show that nutritional context is also important for nutritional absorption. The nutrition we get from a plate of food is significantly different from what we can get from a pill. How can hospitality operators respond to the growing demand for personalised nutrition? Do we see this as a revenue opportunity or an operational challenge?

3-4pm How to drive progress and improve data quality on ESG across the supply chain?

Domini Hogg, James Anderson, NatureMetrics

For hospitality businesses 60-90% of their impact sits in their supply chains, yet most businesses have no real visibility over what this impact is and how their individual suppliers and products contribute to this impact. That’s because gathering quality data on what is a complex supply chain is time-consuming, difficult, and, let’s be frank, very boring. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this session we’ll be sharing ways to improve your data quality across the supply chain more quickly, analyse how specific suppliers and products are contributing to your impact positively or negatively, compare products on both price and ESG scoring, set and monitor realistic targets for yourself and your suppliers, and how technology can help to automate much of this both now and in the future.

4-5pm Turning disadvantages into advantages: how to bring the best out of people who are often overlooked

Alana Buchanan, Nadia Gasper, Rosalba Tito

There are many people we may perceive as having disadvantages in life or for work, but these same disadvantagescan become real advantages given the right opportunity and right role. Difficult life experiences and neurodiversity, for example, can give people a unique perspective, resilience and determination to succeed. In this session we’ll be sharing some excellent examples of how people who would normally be overlooked in recruitment have really been able to shine within hospitality role and how you can better spot the potential of these people for roles with in your business.

4-5pm Knowing your crowd to maximise your revenue: the opportunities around low and no alcohol

Denise Hamilton Mace, Luke Jenkins, Laurence Brown

The trend for low and no alcohol has been sweeping the country, especially among certain demographics. As a trend, it is a great example of how important it is to know your crowd in order to maximise your revenue. There are numerous opportunities for high margin sales in low and no alcohol options and considerable danger of revenue loss if you ignore them. The extent to which this consumer trend will affect your business and how you can best cater for it, will depend on the ethnographic make-up of your target market. This session will explore how you can conduct ethnographic research to better know your crowd and maximise your revenue with a particular focus on the low and no alcohol trend.

Tuesday 19th March 2024

9:30-10:30am Spotting the coming wave: understanding social influence on eating trends and consumer expectations

Kitty Newman, Julian George, Andrea Rasca

Staying ahead of the curve and being well positioned to ride the wave as it comes requires a good eye for changing consumer trends and how they relate to your target market. This discussion will explore how to identify these trends on social media and create engaging content and attractive offerings in response. As examples, we’ll follow the growth of new ethnic cuisines and street food markets from local communities to national media magnets.

9:30-10:30am Answering the questions people don’t want to ask: how to build mental resilience and avoid crises

Priya Narain, Ryan Hopkins, Matthew Cameron, Timothy R Andrews

Many mental health crises could be avoided if people were able to find answers to questions that made them anxious early on, but most people don’t feel comfortable asking the questions they need to ask for fear of how they might be perceived, or they might not even know that the question could be answered by someone who has experienced what they’re going through before. Building mental resilience in your teams is about equipping them with the answers to questions before they’ve felt the need to ask them and creating an inclusive culture where they feel comfortable asking them. This session discusses the kinds of questions that could be addressed and how to train managers to proactively spot potential issues developing and provide answers to avoid crises.

10:30-11:30am Nudge don’t push: what hospitality can learn from neuroscience and experimentation to encourage positive behaviour for people and planet

Jens Hannibal, Toby Park, Annica Wainwright

It’s clear that, as a population, we need to change our diets both for our own health, but also for the planet. Yet people are typically highly conservative when it comes to what they like and don’t like to eat and also prefer to eat for pleasure than for science. So how do we get people to change their behaviour? As a hospitality operator wanting to drive positive change, it can be frustrating when customers ignore the choices that would be better for them and the planet in favour of your less good big volume drivers, which it seems you can’t afford to take off the menu. This session explores how your customers are really making their choices: what influences them and how you can use these neuroscientific insights to nudge them in the right direction much more effectively than telling them what’s good for them.

11:30am-12:30pm What do governments have in store for us when it comes to ESG? An overview of current and future likely legislation and policies and how they will impact businesses from large to small

Martina Dell, Andrea Gutierrez Solana

It’s always scary when legislation starts being announced in quick succession and ESG is one of those areas where this has been happening recently, but not all of it applies to hospitality operators, especially smaller ones (at least not yet!), so how do you know what you need to be worrying about now and how you can better plan for the future? Drawing on the policy expertise of, Andrea Gutierrez Solana, and the practical expertise of Martina Dell at the Sustainable Restaurant Association, this session will provide an overview of what ESG legislation already exists and how it is being enforced, as well as what kinds of legislation is already being discussed for the future and, importantly, how all of this affects hospitality operators large and small.

11:30am-12:30pm Do we need to do more to address media portrayals of gender roles in hospitality?

Kate Howell, Emily Goldfisher, Mex Ibrahim, Timothy R Andrews

The way gender is portrayed within hospitality by the media can have a major impact on how future candidates perceive career paths in hospitality and how teams behave in reality. This directly affects the candidate pool hospitality operators can draw from and the wellbeing of their existing teams. Yet it can seem like, as operators, we don’t have much control over this media perception. Is this true? How could we influence it? And how important is it that we do?

2-3pm NCASS: Overcoming the practical challenges to sustainability in events catering

Nick Summers, Mark Laurie, James Moody, Sam Walker

2-3pm What are the commercial symptoms of long Covid for hospitality and how can we recover more quickly?

Peter Backman, Michael Tingsager

We might all prefer to forget that Covid ever happened, but unfortunately many businesses are still suffering the long-term effects. In this session, Hospitality Mavericks Founder, Michael Tingsager chats to Peter Backman about the commercial issues for hospitality resulting from Covid and lockdown that are still haunting businesses today and how some businesses have found ways of recovering from them more quickly. What has he seen that has helped alleviate the commercial symptoms of long Covid and speed up recovery and how can other businesses learn from their successes to follow suit?

3-4pm Treading the line between greenwashing and greenhushing: does ESG reporting have its own governance problem?

Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Susann Stritzke, Olivia Beecham

Greenwashing, whether intentional or unintentional, has given rise to a fair amount of ESG cynicism, especially in the financial sector where recent investments have been made on the basis of ESG impact only to find the impact was not quite as described. This cynicism is undermining the trust people have in ESG reporting and the reputational risk of being found to be greenwashing is now deterring many businesses from talking about what they are doing well in a form of “greenhushing”. Unfortunately, this creates a very negative environment for driving progress where ESG reporting is at risk of becoming meaningless, just at the point where we need it most. This session will discuss some of the issues at the root cause of the cynicism and how to address and overcome them, as well as how businesses can tread the line between greenwashing and greenhushing.

3-4pm How to value sustainability and protect your margins in a cost of living crisis

Carla McKenzie, Sajni Shah

The cost of living crisis has put immense pressure on hospitality businesses still recovering from the pandemic, yet demonstrating sustainability is also becoming a key part of attracting top talent, building brand loyalty, complying with regulation and even applying for financing. This session will explore ways in which businesses can best protect their margins; ways in which sustainability initiatives can even help with this; and how businesses can still see value in having a positive impact on wider stakeholders, when margins are tight. For those trying to make the case for sustainability initiatives in a difficult commercial context, this discussion will highlight ways of presenting the case while also solving some commercial challenges.

4-5pm Investing in the future when times are tough: enabling innovations and innovators in your business

Julio Bruno, Colin Duff

When businesses stop innovating, they can easily lose relevance and find they’re not keeping pace with the market. Yet sometimes continuing with the status quo can seem like the only option when times are tough. In this session we draw on the expertise of serial innovators, who have found ways of empowering individuals to innovate and even create frameworks to design ongoing innovation into your business. Innovation doesn’t have to be expensive, it’s about being resourceful with what you have and facilitating experimentation. There’s a sense these days that if it’s not digital, it can’t be innovative, but this session will show how innovative hospitality can be in developing real life solutions to challenges.

All-Day Stands

This 2024 edition of the Better Hospitality Conference will feature three key partners. Throughout the two days, you will get a chance to drop by their stands, located by the altar on the ground floor, and learn more about their work and how you or your business can support their mission or benefit from their services.

About the speakers (A-Z)

This is just the start. There are many more speakers to come…watch this space!

Alana Buchanan

Programme Director, Saira Hospitality

Alana Buchanan, a seasoned hospitality professional with 14 years of expertise, is dedicated to creating positive change. At Saira Hospitality, Alana focuses on uplifting marginalised communities in London through innovative training programs. Alana has empowered individuals, providing them with the skills and confidence to thrive in the competitive hospitality landscape. Her work transcends traditional boundaries, focusing on creating meaningful opportunities for those often overlooked. Alana’s journey is a testament to her commitment to excellence and making a meaningful impact, establishing her as an ambassador for diversity who combines industry proficiency with a passion for community empowerment.

Amy Butterworth

Consultancy Director, Timewise

Amy has worked with Timewise since 2017 and has held the post of Consultancy Director since 2021. An experienced HROD and change professional, with an MA in Psychology and over 20 years’ experience, Amy leads our team of flexible working consultants to build future-proof workplaces and enable more diverse teams through flexibility. She designs and oversees innovative change projects with employers and labour market intermediaries and helps Timewise clients embed new working practices that will lead to lasting cultural and structural change. 

Amy made the move into organisation consultancy following several years in HR and OD roles and has worked on a variety of change and transformation programmes for clients including Jaguar Land Rover, RBS, the NHS and Sky. 

Amy has led Timewise Pioneer programmes for the Retail and Asset Management sectors, developed our Flex Positive programme for employers and designed innovative pilots to improve scheduling and work life balance for workers in front line roles. She advises clients on their plans for hybrid working and recently led a trailblazing programme in partnership with NHSE equipping 93 NHS organisations to execute their own in-house flex change initiatives.  

Andrea Gutierrez‑Solana​

Associate Director, Whitehouse Communications

Andrea is an Associate Director at Whitehouse Communications, a political communications agency specialising in public affairs and strategic communications, where she leads the food, public health, and sustainability practice. Andrea advises clients, including brands, manufacturers, and trade associations, on EU and UK policies and regulations that impact them. She assists them in navigating potential challenges and leveraging opportunities.

Her previous experience includes working for a Brussels law firm specialised in trade and agri-food regulatory matters, as well as for the European Commission, where she worked on food safety and market access files.

Andrea is a regular contributor to trade publications such as Food Manufacture, New Food, and Beverage Daily, where she discusses food, sustainability, and public health policy developments and their implications for the food industry. She is also a frequent speaker at events like Food Ingredients Europe and Vitafoods Europe.

Andrea Rasca

Founder and CEO – Mercato Metropolitano

Andrea Rasca is the Founder and ‘Chief Executive Dreamer’ of the Mercato Metropolitano Movement. With a degree in Economics in Italy and Spain, a first Master in Management in Tokyo, and a second in International Relations from Fletcher School in Boston, Andrea is a passionate advocate of Right to Food. Over the past 25 years he has gained a broad experience within the food sector, focusing on the design and implementation of internationalization strategies for major Italian food companies (including the development of nine branches of Eataly in Japan). More recently, he has broadened his expertise by focusing on the development of a more holistic and coordinated approach to sustainable food systems that are community-led to enhance the positive impact on our environment, societies, and nutritional health. In 2014, he brought his experiences together and developed the inspiring new sustainable retail concept of Mercato Metropolitano, a movement which a UK journalist termed as “the standard-bearer for the renaissance of inner cities”

Annica Wainwright

Co-Founder, 2Forks

Annica Wainwright, co-fouder of 2Forks, is a certified Menu Geek, former restaurant critic and life-long behavioural science student. She helps hospitality businesses understand and connect with their prospects and guests in order to take them on deliberate journeys from first-time visitors to return customers, fans and ambassadors. She’s created high-performing menus for brands including Wahaca, Dishoom, Rosa’s Thai and Pizza Pilgrims and hosts regular Menu Engineering Workshops for large and small operators. 

Carla McKenzie

Managing Director, MYA Consulting

Carla has led MYA for the past 30 years in some of the most challenging industry environments. She is renowned for her vision and industry expertise across all sectors. Carla is a hands-on leader, with specialist skills in: strategic thinking and planning, project leadership and tender management.

Denise Hamilton-Mace

Founder & Editor of Low No Drinker Magazine

Denise is the founder and editor of Low No Drinker Magazine. Following a 24-year career in hospitality that saw her move from front of house to General Manager to Head of Events & Sales, she has gained a broad and varied knowledge of service standards, understanding business needs and developing and building customer care both directly with her teams and indirectly from a senior management position.

Denise moved away from hospitality after covid redundancy in 2020 and embarked upon a new venture that married her desire to best serve people while embracing a rekindled passion for individual health, fitness and well-being.

She now self-publishes a bi-monthly magazine bringing the best in low-and-no-alcohol to those who are looking at modifying their drinking behaviours for any length of time for any reason. Denise is also the host of the Low No Drinker Podcast, where she meets with brand founders to discuss the ins and outs of low/no alcohol production and the changes that have brought about the emerging low-and-no-alcohol revolution.

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.

Emily Kanders Goldfischer

Founder and Editor in Chief, hertelier

A curious journalist passionate about the hotel industry, Goldfischer founded hertelier in March of 2021. An online media platform that enlightens and inspires women in hospitality to pursue, navigate, and nurture their careers at every stage, hertelier has taken off, creating a dynamic and engaged community of professionals. Emily curates hertelier’s content through the lens of supporting women in their hotel industry careers — sharing valuable lessons from accomplished pros and rising stars, covering business skills, work/life balance, industry news, and networking opportunities presented in a fresh voice. A self-confessed “hotel nerd” and graduate of the Cornell Nolan School of Hotel Administration with a master’s from the London School of Economics, Emily began her career marketing and promoting hotels, restaurants and destinations on the agency side before joining Loews Hotels as the Vice President of Public Relations. She ran corporate comms and hotel PR at Loews Hotels for over a decade, before moving to London in 2010 and becoming a journalist. She has been recognized by the International Hospitality Institute as part of the “100 Most Powerful People in Global Hospitality” for 2023.

Emma Jones

Founder of Enterprise Nation, business expert and author

Following a degree in Law and Japanese, Emma joined international accounting firm Arthur Andersen, where she worked in London, Leeds and Manchester offices and set up the firm’s Inward Investment practice that attracted overseas companies to locate in the UK. In 2000, bitten by the bug, Emma left the firm to start her first business, Techlocate.

After 15 months, the company was successfully sold to Tenon plc when Emma was 27. The experience of starting, growing and selling a business from a home base gave Emma the idea for Enterprise Nation which was launched in 2005 to support the flourishing number of start-ups and SMEs.

The company has since expanded to become an active small business membership community, reaching more than 800,000 businesses each year with its powerful digital business support platform. Businesses benefit from free business building tools to start-up and support growth, legendary events and resources including the annual Start Up Show and daily Lunch and Learns. Its platform offers business owners in the UK, Ireland and across EU, the chance to connect with like-minded peers, professional business advisers and trained mentors. It links them to opportunities to expand through procurement sessions with Tier one suppliers. Enterprise Nation also presents a positive campaigning voice to governments and the media on behalf of its partners and members.

With Emma at the helm, Enterprise Nation now works with multiple global and government partners to deliver tailored business support programmes for a growing number of micro and small business owners. It also delivers regular data-led research to highlight and understand the important contribution SMEs make to the economy and to establish ‘what works’ when it comes to funded support programmes.

In 2021, Emma was awarded a CBE for services to small businesses and entrepreneurs and has held several key advisory roles at the heart of the UK government, making the case for small businesses in the corridors of power.

Henry Dimbleby

Co-founder of Leon & Bramble Partners, Author, Campaigner, Non-Executive Director

Dimbleby is the co-founder and former CEO of Leon restaurants. He also co-founded the Sustainable Restaurant Association and the charity Chefs in Schools, which brings restaurant chefs into school kitchens. In 2013, he co-authored The School Food Plan, a blueprint for government setting out actions to transform what children eat in schools and how they learn about food. It resulted in the introduction of free school meals for all children up to the age of eight, and cooking lessons being made obligatory for all children up to 14.

Henry Dimbleby is the author of Ravenous: How to get ourselves and our planet into shape. Published in March 2023, this analysis of the food system – how it is malfunctioning it, and what to do about it – builds on the work he did in the independent National Food Strategy, described by Prue Leith “the best government document that’s ever come out”.

From 2018 to 2023, Dimbleby was the lead non-executive board member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, serving under Michael Gove, Theresa Villiers, George Eustice, Ranil Jayawardene and Therese Coffey. He has also advised the Labour party on how to improve the sustainability and security of the food system.

Henry previously worked as a Strategy Consultant at Bain & Company, where he worked with businesses on strategy, performance improvement and organisational design. Before that he worked as a journalist at The Daily Telegraph and a chef at the Michelin-starred Four Seasons Inn on the Park.

Holly Letch

Sustainability Manager, JKS

Holly is the Sustainability Manager for the restaurant group, JKS. With a background spanning hospitality, farming and academia, Holly draws on her varied experience to integrate sustainability into restaurant operations in a holistic and pragmatic manner.

James Moody

Founder and Owner, It’s All Gravy

James is the founder and owner of upcoming street food brand It’s All Gravy, trading with Kerb across the city of London, with the brand scaling up this year to cater at larger events where he believes sustainability is now a key attributor to the success of securing said events.

Jens Hannibal

Co-Founder of Pulse Kitchen

Jens Hannibal is a culinary innovator, educator, and co-founder of Pulse Kitchen. He is dedicated to empowering positive transformation through food. With 25+ years of experience, Jens has a huge passion for helping people liberate their inner culinary spirit, and develop good food habits that provide nourishment as well as pleasure.

Joshua Jarvis

Founder of Wing Shack Co. and Big Appetite Co., Innovator, and Hospitality Visionary

Joshua Jarvis, the founder of Wing Shack Co. and the innovative Big Appetite Co., is a beacon of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation in the hospitality industry. Starting Wing Shack in 2018 and now steering Big Appetite Co., Joshua’s journey is marked by his passion for redefining dining experiences and embracing technological advancements.

His initial venture began with a trip to New York, inspiring the creation of Wing Shack Co., known for its authentic flavours and unique urban vibe. Building on this success, Joshua launched Big Appetite Co., further showcasing his ability to innovate and adapt. This new start-up reflects his continuous commitment to revolutionising the hospitality industry.

Facing challenges head-on, including personal and industry-wide setbacks, Joshua has demonstrated remarkable resilience and a steadfast commitment to his vision. His expertise in leveraging AI and other technologies to enhance efficiency and customer engagement makes him a forward-thinking leader in the field.

As a speaker, Joshua offers invaluable insights into entrepreneurship, innovation, and leveraging technology in hospitality. His experiences in founding and growing both Wing Shack Co. and Big Appetite Co. provide a rich background for discussions on business growth, innovation, and overcoming adversity in a rapidly evolving industry.

Juliane Caillouette-Noble

Managing Director, The Sustainable Restaurant Association

Juliane is focused on growing the impact of Food Made Good around the world. With a background in nutrition and a love of good food, her career has been deeply engaged in global food policy issues ranging from sustainable farming and urban growing to food education and school food systems. Juliane has designed food education tools and resources for teachers, developed local and global campaigns, and served as a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for School Food in the UK.

Julio Bruno

Global CEO/Board Director/Investor/Author

Julio is the Founder & CEO of  BeBeMe, a wine merchant business with unique wine bars and shops in London. He serves as Chairman of Mercato Metropolitano,  London’s first Sustainable Community Market with 4 locations in the city and expanding internationally. 

Julio is also Chairman of Lío Group, the international cabaret and fine dining concept with venues in Ibiza, London, Mykonos and Palma de Mallorca. As part of his non-executive responsibilities Julio served as Board Director of Pacha Group -a global entertainment and luxury hospitality platform- and Board Director of Goiko, the top gourmet hamburger chain from Spain.  Separately, he acts as an investor and/or board advisor to a handful of businesses globally, such as Trilantic Capital, LCatterton, LifeX Ventures, Floe, Cervantes Theatre and Roasting Plant Coffee,  amongst others.

Prior to this, Julio was CEO Time Out Group plc,  marshalling  its IPO on London’s AIM in 2016. During his tenure, he led the international expansion of the famous Time Out Markets from New York to Dubai. He also led the digital transformation of the iconic Time Out media brand around the world. Julio was awarded ‘Business Leader of the Year – Consumer Media’ by Campaign UK in 2021.  Prior to that he held executive positions in several organisations including TripAdvisor, Travelport, Regus, Energizer and Diageo. His book “Passion To Lead” was published in September 2022 becoming number 1 at Amazon UK and Spain, in business and leadership books.

Kate Howell

NED and Communications advisor. Food, People, Place.

Kate Howell is a communications advisor and NED, specialising in food, communities and markets.  For 12 years, she was Director of Communications and Engagement at Borough Market, where her work was driven by a strong belief in the central part that food can play in creating communities and driving the sustainability agenda.

Kate was responsible for building the market’s worldwide brand, developing its printed, digital and in-person communications, increasing engagement, and ensuring that the thoughts of the institution were regularly heard through the national and international media. She helped shape the responses to some extremely challenging circumstances, including the 2017 terrorist attack, Brexit and the Covid pandemic, as well as playing a key role in overhauling the strategic development of London’s oldest market.  This including the formulation of the market’s first every food policy and 2030 strategy.

She sits on the boards of The Mayor of London’s Markets’ Board and Better Bankside, the business improvement district for London’s Bankside district.   She is a passionate advocate for equality in the industry and is a proud member of the London Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier, a philanthropic organisation supporting women in hospitality and is Co-Chair of Better Bankside’s Women’s Network.

Kitty Newman

Director of Trapeze Media

Kitty Newman has 15+ years experience in online marketing and runs agency Trapeze Media. Her team have managed social media and paid advertising campaigns for hospitality brands like Various Eateries, UK Hospitality, temper, Patty&Bun, and many more.

Laurence Brown

Senior Insight Manager at KAM

Laurence has over 5 years experience in the grocery sector, specifically working on delivering consumer insights for leading food and beverage brands during his time at Dunnhumby. Laurence has a passion for using data to build compelling insight stories that help brands make better business decisions. Working on brands primarily in the Beer, Wine, Spirits and impulse categories.

Laurence joined KAM in 2022 to further build the strength of their research and insights team across both the hospitality sector and food service channels.

Luke Jenkins

Managing Director – Mercato Metropolitano

Luke Jenkins is the Managing Director at Mercato Metropolitano.

Seasoned Chief of Operations and hospitality expert with 20+ years of experience driving growth and success for leading hospitality brands. Instrumental in increasing revenues and maximising operations across multiple companies, including The Columbo Group, Wells Group, Urban Leisure Group, and The Grand Union Group.

Core leadership experience in:

  • Financial Management: expertise in budgets, cost control, revenue growth strategies, and securing funding for expansion.
  • Event Management:  executed high profile launches, campaigns, conferences for hospitality clients.
  • Entrepreneurial Collaboration: worked closely with entrepreneurs and founders to scale their businesses, open new locations, and boost brand awareness.
  • Operations Leadership: Led diverse operations teams across front and back of house to deliver exemplary service and growth.

Luxey Dayanandan RNutr

Head of Nutrition & Sustainability for Restaurant Associates

Head of Nutrition & Sustainability for Restaurant Associates, she is a Registered Nutritionist, having graduated from Kings College London with a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition, she has over 10 years’ experience in the food industry with a focus on developing healthy recipes, food labelling and delivering nutrition education. She oversees RAs Nutrition & Sustainability Strategy and roadmap to Net Zero by 2030.

Martina Dell

Head of Projects & Consultancy, The Sustainable Restaurant Association

Martina leads on shared value propositions, delivering impactful projects with bespoke objectives. She has spent time working within policy at the European Commission and WHO as well as with industry in-house at a large global restaurant brand and consulting externally. With a BSc in Global Public Health, Nutrition & Food Policy further strengthened by a MSc in Integrated Food Studies, she champions applying a systems thinking approach to problem solving. Her belief is that the challenges we face are complex, so the solutions must also be considered holistically.  

Matthew Cameron

Founder, Hospro and TMC Consulting

Matthew is an employee well-being, performance and retention consultant who uses his personal story to help businesses and their people to succeed.

What truly differentiates Matthew is not an extensive HR background and proven success record but that he has experienced firsthand the shortcomings of systems designed to protect, optimize, and retain talent, even to the point where he nearly lost his life.

This personal experience fuels his passion and commitment to creating workplaces where employees feel valued, protected, and motivated to stay.

Mex Ibrahim

Co-Founder, Women In the Food Industry

For almost 8 years Mex Ibrahim was Head of Marketing & Social Media at Great British Chefs – the UK’s fastest growing food website. In April 2019 Mex co-founded Women In The Food Industry. It became a Community Interest Company in July 2023 and is THE place for conversation, insight, podcasts, stories, news, resources & community support as women across all verticals of the UK food industry face obstacles of inequality & inclusion.

Mex is also MD of her own freelance social media, digital marketing and content creation agency, a member of the Guild of Food Writers, an Associate of the Royal Society of Public Health, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, sits on the Editorial Advisory Board for New Food Magazine and is Trustee of the charity School Food Matters.

Michael Tingsager

Founder of Pulse Kitchen and Hospitality Mavericks Podcast

Michael Tingsager is a committed hospitality leader dedicated to transforming businesses into forces for good. As the co-founder and managing director of Pulse Kitchen, he empowers food service operators and food enthusiasts to prepare healthy, delicious meals in minutes. This is achieved using nature’s most sustainable protein source – pulses. These underrated seeds have numerous health benefits and a minimal carbon footprint. Additionally, he heads the Hospitality Mavericks Community and Podcast Show. Here, he converses with Maverick leaders and experts about building businesses that make a profit while positively impacting people, society, and the planet.

Michele Crippa

Head of Education, Research and Innovation at Mercato Metropolitano

Professor of gastronomy, food history and culture.

Head of Education, Research and Innovation at Mercato Metropolitano.

Sensory trainer and founder of Neurochimica, a medical practice and research centre specialized in improving and solving smell and taste neurochemical perceptions and disorders.

Nadia Gasper

Work and Business Coach, KERB+

Nadia joined Kerb+ as the work and business coach in August 2023. Her role involves overseeing four-week work experience placements based at the National Theatre and Seven Dials Market, supporting paid interns with registering, onboarding, and training, delivering regular 1:1 coaching sessions for welfare check-ins and employment preparation, logging coaching sessions and measuring KPIs for impact reports, serving as the bridge of communication between interns, venue senior management and the hospitality suppliers registered under Kerb’s membership programme and a million and one other things!

Nadia has been coaching and mentoring individuals in various sectors, including the Arts and Education, since 2010. In addition to having her finger in many artistic pies, Nadia also runs her own creative writing and enterprise consultancy, Scribble Ink, which she has built up over the last 14 years and which now has more than 9000 subscribers in more than 130 countries.

Olivia Beecham

Responsible Business Programme Manager, Heart of the City

Olivia works as the Responsible Business Programme Manager at Heart of the City, working with small businesses at the start of their responsible business and sustainability journey.  She’s worked with hundreds of small businesses from different sectors across the UK.

Prior to joining Heart of the City, Olivia completed ‘On Purpose’, a year leadership course on social and environmental impact where she worked with a beverage start-up, and Big Society Capital, the UK’s leading social impact-led investor.

Before working with businesses, Olivia was a civil servant specialising in international development at the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Peter Backman

Food Service and Delivery Insights Consultant and Podcaster

Peter enlightens and guides senior executives who make significant decisions in the foodservice sector.

He is an expert on the structure and dynamics of the foodservice market, and restaurant delivery in the UK, and in other major international regions and countries including Europe, the USA, the Middle East and India.

His forthright and challenging views are based on data-driven insights. He has been involved, as a consultant within the foodservice sector, for over 30 years blending his knowledge with a deep understanding of its trends and challenges.

He regularly speaks at conferences worldwide and his views are sought by television, radio, and the press. He is the author of “Restaurants also sell food” – published in London, Toronto and Chicago. He mentors up and coming entrepreneurs, is the International Editor of Food On Demand, and regularly lectures to graduate an undergraduate students.

Peter is a founder and past Chairman of Arena, the UK pan-industry networking organisation that he was instrumental in setting up twenty five years ago.

Priya Narain

Purpose and Impact Manager, KERB

Priya is the Purpose and Impact Manager at KERB, where she oversees DEI, Sustainability, and team committees, contributing to a more positive and inclusive workplace and company culture. Beyond this role, Priya is the co-founder of Event First Steps, an initiative dedicated to guiding newcomers to the events and hospitality industries to carve out their career paths. Priya’s multifaceted approach involves not only managing key aspects at KERB but also actively shaping the future of the industry through her impactful work with Event First Steps. With a vision for a more inclusive and sustainable professional landscape, Priya stands as a driving force for positive transformation, with her passion for making a difference evident in her commitment to fostering positive change.

Ryan Hopkins

Chief Impact Officer at JAAQ

Ryan Hopkins is leading the UK’s Workplace Rebellion and intends to engage 1 billion people in the betterment of wellbeing.

Ryan is a global best selling author, Chief Impact Officer at JAAQ, formerly the Future of Wellbeing Leader at Deloitte and speaks all over the world on how we can create a future of work where individuals and organisations thrive.

He shares his personal story of anxiety, bulimia, depression and has engaged 10’s million of people and this is just the beginning.

Dr Susann Stritzke

Chief Group Coordinator & Head of Sustainability, NDL Management Group

Susann has a substantial scientific and corporate background in clean energy, sustainable development, modern energy cooking and carbon financing. Leading NDL Management Group’s UK operations, she focuses on sustainability consultancy.

With over 25 years experience, NDL, serves as a comprehensive hub for green energy project development and sustainability initiatives. With a hands-on approach, NDL offers services including energy efficiency, supply chain management, staff training, capacity building, strategizing, and reporting, aligning with clients’ sustainability goals in addition to renewable energy project development.

In her current role, Susann manages diverse sustainability projects in the hospitality sector, guiding clients on their sustainability journey and ensuring successful implementation. She understands the current challenges and complexities faced by hospitality businesses in reaching their goals in a demanding environment. With her team, she is dedicated to creating positive environmental and social impacts for each client, saving costs, and addressing current and future business risks. Her goal is to help clients view sustainability as an exciting opportunity rather than a challenge. This includes making a positive impact for the community, involving and inspiring staff members, and becoming industry leaders.

Actively engaged in the University of Oxford’s Climate Alumni Network (OxCAN), Susann’s scientific background includes roles at Oxford University and Loughborough University, focusing on renewable energy sustainability assessments, infrastructure financing, energy policy, impact/carbon finance, and modern energy cooking.

She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science, Psychology & Law, and has been dedicated in developing sustainable clean energy and infrastructure solutions in rural Zambia in collaboration with local women’s groups, schools, and hospitals. Her commitment to sustainable business development ensures tailored, inclusive solutions aligned with each client’s operational needs.

Encouraging donations for Only A Pavement Away

Tickets for the conference are free due to the generosity of all our wonderful speakers, but when you register for tickets we do encourage everyone to consider donating what you might have paid for tickets to our chosen charity, Only A Pavement Away, who work tirelessly to support people in hospitality struggling to make ends meet, and those already homeless find jobs in hospitality.