Grosvenor Square, London

PSD attended the annual MCA Restaurant conference on Wednesday 20th September at the London Marriott Hotel in Mayfair, London. It aims to give an insight into restaurant operations and provide attendees with the opportunity to network with the highest level of operators.

Deliveroo Cycle CourierThe MCA Restaurant Conference is an important annual event for senior executives involved in the UK branded restaurant market. This year did not disappoint, with a vast array of topics for discussion on offer. We enjoyed hearing about food delivery by award winning service provider, Deliveroo. They talked about their emerging 'Deliveroo Edition'  concept and their journey to becoming multisite businesses. It was also fantastic to hear from a panel of larger operators who discussed their future opportunities and current structural challenges. Dave Coplin, the former Chief Envisaging Officer at Microsoft, was fascinating to listen to - his speed of thought was particularly impressive! His viewpoint on innovation, and the opportunities hospitality can create by embracing technology, was truly enlightening.

Along with innovation, rent is always a hot topic with restaurant professionals, particularly in London. Some  landlords are now looking for 'more than rent' when choosing their occupiers, in order to add value to their real estate. This must be encouraging for the independent operators who could potentially benefit from a possible 20-30% reduction in rent roll.

Pizza Express

Optimism is still driving thinking and development with the larger branded operators. Jinlong Wang, the CEO of PizzaExpress, one of the UK's most iconic dining brands, are looking to create a new category - 'Dinnertainment'. On the back of strong like-for-likes, Steve Holmes, CEO of Azzurri Group, delved deep into the importance of authentic brand extension through Instagram and take-home propositions.

Restaurant ConferenceWhilst the industry, no doubt,  faces significant structural challenges it was a pleasure to hear it remains a hot bed for entrepreneurs, aspiring restauranteurs and constant innovation. Thank you to the MCA for putting on another worthwhile Restaurant Conference.


 Publication Date: 27/09/2017