The Casual Dining Show had its première last week at the Business Design Centre in London. According to figures released by foodservice analysts Allegra Strategies, we Brits (over 19 million of us) dine out once a week or more. In 2012, this added up to a staggering £31 billion spend. So it’s official, we like our food . . . and we like our food to be good.
The Casual Dining Show was a huge success, featuring more than 120 food, drink, technology and equipment exhibitors and a host of keynote speakers from industry experts.
“We are absolutely delighted to sell out in our first year and a big thanks really must go to all our exhibitors and partners who have supported this launch right from the start,” said Casual Dining’s event manager Chris Brazier.
Billion Pound Market
According to a report in Food and Drink International, the pub industry has changed since the beginning of the century with average food sales in the 49,500 pubs around the UK accounting for 25% of all sales. Compare this with 9% in 2001 and we can see how influential pub grub has become. And it can only get better: the Pub Catering Market Report which was published by Mintel in May 2013 predicts a rise in the UK pub catering market of more than £1.2 billion over 2012 figures, to £7.77 billion by 2017.
Enough of the statistics: what exactly does this mean? The bottom line (also revealed by the report) is that pub/bar restaurants was the most visited type of eatery in the UK!
For pubs and bars, this has to be seen as a major opportunity for future trade. But although there were plenty of innovations and new product ranges launched at the Casual Dining Show, the seminars were also hugely significant, with many of the talks aimed at maintaining a successful venue through various means, including marketing and careful financing. A carefully-maintained infrastructure is the key to success and this is a policy that AC Services endorses wholeheartedly.
It doesn’t matter whether your menu is basic fare or haute cuisine with the finest ingredients: if your basic equipment is on the blink, you are in all sorts of trouble. If you want to take advantage of the anticipated surge in casual dining and plan for the future, then it is essential that you take advantage of the best equipment and most importantly, comprehensive maintenance and service agreements, such as the programmes offered by AC Services for Rational ovens, where they are regularly serviced and monitored to ensure their full working potential at all times.
The next Casual Dining Show is taking place at the Business Design Centre in Islington from 25-26 February 2015. Book your space now.