The next Restaurant Conference will be taking place in London in September 2020. To be the first to hear about our 2020 programme, please register your interest by sending an email to


2019 programme:

From 9.00am – Arrivals & registration

10.00am – Introduction and welcome – James Halliwell, editor, MCA

10.05am – Graeme Smith, managing director, AlixPartners

AlixPartnersGraeme will give an overview of the restaurant market from an M&A perspective and what the current and future focus is for investors.

10.25am – Martin Williams, CEO, Rare Restaurants

Rare RestaurantsMartin will speak about the evolution of M Restaurants and Gaucho, and how the two businesses are being taken forward under the new umbrella of Rare Restaurants.

10.45am – Ajay Lakhwani, VP of new business, Deliveroo

DeliverooAjay will unveil the plan for Deliveroo’s move into supplying restaurants with ingredients and other essentials, dubbed ‘food procurement’, and explain how Deliveroo plans to roll out the concept across the UK.

11.05am – Lydia Christie, legal director (employment law), Howard Kennedy LLP

Howard Kennedy LLPLydia will address how the #Metoo or #Ustoo movements have affected the hospitality industry and how to protect your workforce and your business.

11.25am – Break

11.45am – Jill Livesey, managing director, HIM and MCA Insights

MCAThe UK Restaurant Market in 2019 is set to contract at its fastest rate in seven years. Jill will share exclusive insight and trends from MCA’s newly published Restaurant Market Report 2019, to help operators and suppliers negotiate an ever more complex and competitive environment.

12.05pm – Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive, Burger King UK

Burger KingAlasdair will speak on leadership – the key attributes which are more critical, now than ever, for our sector.

12.25pm – Q&A with Mark Jones, CEO, Carluccio’s

Carluccio'sMark will describe the Carluccio’s journey since the CVA last year and share how learnings from its Richmond restaurant and Fresca programme are helping to shape the future of the business.

12.45pm – Lunch

1.45pm – Hot Topics (Panel)

Industry leaders will debate the big issues impacting the restaurant sector, from rents and rates and the growth of delivery to how data is impacting menu innovation. The panel will feature:

Casual Dining Group James Spragg, chief executive, Casual Dining Group
Gusto Italian Matt Snell, managing director, Gusto
Tortilla Richard Morris, managing director, Tortilla
Mowgli Street Food Nisha Katona, founder, Mowgli Street Food

2.15pm – Emma Woods, CEO, Wagamama

WagamamaDrawing on the approach and experience of leading the team at Wagamama, Emma will address the importance of innovation to ensure the ongoing relevance and success of brands in the UK restaurant sector.

2.40pm – Concepts to watch

Hear from the founders of up-and-coming concepts MCA believe will shape the market in years to come. They will discuss their journey so far, what makes them different and their future growth plans.

The Vurger Co Rachel Hugh, co-founder, The Vurger Co., a 100% vegan fast food restaurant
Mother Clucker Brittney Bean, co-founder, Mother Clucker, a fried chicken street food concept
Zim Braai Andy Lennox, founder, Zim Braai, a southern African inspired concept

3.10pm – Break

3.30pm – Mike Powner and Jamie Cartwright, partners, Charles Russell Speechlys

Charles Russell SpeechlysAllergens – practices and protocols. What you need to know.

4.00pm – Karl Chessell, business unit director – food and retail, CGA

CGAKarl will look at patterns of UK restaurant openings and closures over the past year. Overlaying performance data and consumer changes, he’ll look at cuisine types, formats and geographies, giving CGA’s view of those parts of the market most exposed, and those offering most potential.

4.20pm – Jens Hofma, CEO, Pizza Hut Restaurants

Pizza Hut RestaurantsJens will discuss the journey Pizza Hut Restaurants has been on since the MBO last April, and how the business has survived, and will thrive, through the various cycles in the restaurant market.

4.40pm – Close & networking drinks


Order your copy of the Restaurant Market Report 2019

Restaurant Market Report 2019 from MCA Insight

The 2019 edition of the Restaurant Market Report from MCA will focus on the trends, challenges and opportunities in the UK restaurant market for 2019 and beyond. For pricing information or to order a copy, please call 020 7611 0405 or email

Find out more about the report