Last week, 3 – 5 March 2020, thousands of professionals in the hospitality and foodservice industry travelled to ExCeL London for Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC).
As the industry movers and shakers gravitated to ExCeL London to discover the latest innovations making waves in the hospitality industry, the isles were bustling with visitors looking to source new products to drive their business forward.
The presentations, talks, panel discussions and cooking demonstrations from the UK’s top chefs and industry pioneers on the Vision Stage, TechX and The Staff Canteen Live were fully booked with visitors left standing to listen to the latest trends and issues impacting the industry.
One of the most well attended talks named, ‘Stars in their Eyes – Let’s talk Michelin’, included industry legend Tom Kerridge who commented “Great show as always, showcasing the best of the industry. Thanks for having me!”
600 exhibitors showcased their latest products across four shows, The Professional Kitchen Show, The Foodservice Show, Hospitality Tech Show and Interiors and Tabletop Show, ensuring there was plenty of choice for all that attended and feedback from visitors has been incredibly positive.
Content was king at HRC this year, as the show introduced a wealth of conferences, tastings and trend trails with key partners. Highlights included Sustainable Hospitality 2020: Food Made Good with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) introduced by Raymond Blanc, Chef Patron at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, ‘Hospitality Uncovered…. Is there really a hospitality industry skills shortage?’ in partnership with Hospitality Jobs UK, guided tours of The Professional Kitchen Show with the FEA Trend Trails and tastings on ‘The Great British Drinks Movement’ hosted by drinks expert and TV personality Jane Parkinson.
The breadth and range of talent on show in the prestigious chef competition programme; International Salon Culinaire was incredible to see – almost 1000 chefs entered over 100 competitions across the three day show with many competitions across the Live Theatre and Skills Theatre over-subscribed with competitors wanting to take part and showcase their culinary skills.
Notable International Salon Culinaire 2020 winners included: Coworth Park Hotel (part of the Dorchester Collection) winning the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef Team of the Year, Tomas Krasnan winning the Association of Pastry Chefs Dessert of the Year for the third consecutive time, Hull College winning the most successful college award on the Skills Theatre and the Chairman’s Award for the Skills Theatre was presented to Bethan Disley Jones from City of Liverpool College.
“This year’s show has shown the true colours of our industry with everything that is going on in the world. We have had the most tremendous support from both competitors and visitors. The entry level has been over-subscribed twofold, and we have managed to allow all of them to compete with standards reaching new heights”. Chef Steve Munkley - International Salon Culinaire Chef Director.
For the first time HRC partnered with ReFood (the International Salon Culinaire Food Waste Partner) to tackle food waste from exhibitors and the International Salon Culinaire competitions in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way by recycling food waste into renewable energy and biofertilizer.
“We found this year’s show exceptional, we’ve got fantastic feedback, orders and met some fantastic people from different backgrounds. We would highly recommend the show and we will back next year.” James Hemmings, Business Development Manager - Logicall Wireless Solutions.
“HRC was an invaluable experience for us in the procurement world. Not only did HRC give us the opportunity to connect with a number of new and potential suppliers in our space and give us a platform to create new relationships and partnerships but it also enabled us to catch up with a number of our current suppliers, and see them showcase their new and innovative products.” Sophie Sherrard, Category Development Buyer – Foodbuy
Ronda Annesley, Event Manager commented “We were delighted to see the stands of our suppliers from across the hospitality and foodservice sector buzzing with visitors, along with our biggest line-up of industry experts, chefs and influencers leading the conversations on stage. With so many positive messages we look forward to seeing you at next year’s bigger and more encompassing event.”
High on the success of this year’s show, the anticipation is already growing for next year when ExCeL, London becomes home to the largest gathering of food, drink and hospitality suppliers under one roof. Taking place 22-24 March 2021, Hotel Restaurant & Catering will now unite alongside International Food and Drink Event (IFE), IFE Manufacturing Solutions (IMS), Festival of Enterprise and The London Produce Show welcoming 2500 suppliers and 45,000 visitors.