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20 Mar 2023

'A fresh perspective' - Day One HRC Highlights

'A fresh perspective' - Day One HRC Highlights

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) opened its doors today to welcome the who's who of the hospitality and foodservice sector to discover the latest product innovations and suppliers across pub & bar, design & décor, hospitality tech, food & drink and professional kitchen equipment. 

Taking place alongside IFE, International Food & Drink Event, the show was an unmissable opportunity for hoteliers, restaurateurs, caterers and hospitality business owners to network, learn and meet face-to-face with a wide range of quality suppliers. 

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls kicked off the show with an industry update on the Vision Stage, designed by Harp Design, before handing over to Nicola Knight and James Walton from IGD for a global perspective on the 2023 hospitality sector. 

Later, the results of the UK's largest hospitality survey were unveiled by Hospitality Jobs Founder Dawn Bowstead, who commented ahead of the presentation: “The current staffing crisis has led to huge disparity in salaries being offered for similar roles in hospitality. This report will be fundamental in helping businesses budget for the year ahead and ensure they are providing competitive salaries when advertising new roles.”

On the show's Tech X stage, Futurist Simon Stenning presented a view of what the next five years might look like for the foodservice market, and Institute of Hospitality CEO Robert Richardson hosted a panel discussion on what it will take to build a sustainable future for the hospitality sector. HRCof the produce in every exhibit I visited. Although I walked around the huge hall a few times, each time I did I discovered something new and exciting. I was blown away by the standard demonstrated in the live cooking competitions and credit must be given to all of the competitors. I will definitely be returning to HRC in 2024 and will encourage many more of my colleagues to attend.”


Graham Howarth, Head Chef at Chequers Estate, added: "If we can fit it in with our diary, I find it a really worthwhile exercise bringing as many of the team to HRC. The chance to network, meet new prospective suppliers in food, beverage, and equipment and take the team out of the work environment for a day is very valuable."

Alongside the show's main stages, the Networking Hub, in partnership with VisitEngland and AA Media played host to a wide range of networking sessions hosted by organisations including the Sustainable Restaurant Association, the Foodservice Equipment Association, AA Media, the Institute of Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping. 

New feature Chef HQ, curated by Chef Publishing, was the talk of the town with highly regarded chefs including Niall Keating, National Chef of the Year Ben Murphy, Tony Parkin and Andrew Wong taking to the stage to discuss their careers, their passions and their favourite dishes and culinary trends. 

In The Pub Show @ HRC, suppliers to the pub & bar sector such as Touch2PLay met with key buyers and business owners. 

Derek Stockdale commented: HRC has been fantastic. We've seen many different faces and different types of customers coming along to The Pub Show @ HRC." 

Frozen food giant COOK took its first steps into the catering and foodservice sector at HRC with the launch of its new ready meal vending machine. 

Head of Concessions Operations Ben Scott said: "I've done trade shows for the last 20 years and I've never had so much interest. The senior decisionmakers that we've had here. We've even had buyers ringing up their bosses and department chiefs to have them come down to the show. It's been like nothing I've ever experienced before. HRC is buzzing this year. The key thing is that there are senior decisionmakers here." 

Chris Cheeseman, Director, The Craft Beer Man, concluded: "I had an amazing time at HRC. As a brewer and bar operator, I found it extremely helpful to see all the different products available. The variety of exhibitors and informative sessions gave me a fresh perspective on the industry, and I can't wait to attend again next year."

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