Jon Knight, the new CEO of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, is the first big name Keynote speaker to be announced for Casual Dining 2018.  The multi-award winning trade event for the UK’s restaurant and pub operators returns to the Business Design Centre in London, next year, on 21-22 February. 

Today’s announcement follows the opening of the show’s online visitor registration for 2018, and comes just weeks after Knight’s appointment as CEO.  He was formerly the managing director of Jamie Oliver’s international restaurant portfolio. 

Knight is the latest exclusive speaker signing for the show, which – since its launch in 2014 – has become known for attracting some of the biggest names in the business (many, notably, who rarely appear at other events).  Industry leaders, such as Pizza Hut's UK CEO Jens Hofma, GBK’s COO Keith Bird, Geronimo Inns and Hippo Inns’ co-founder Rupert Clevely, Hard Rock International’s area VP of operations David Pellow, wagamama’s (then CEO) David Campbell, and TGI Friday’s CEO Karen Forrester, are just a few of Casual Dining’s speaker alumni to date.

With 18 free business Keynotes planned for 2018, event organiser Diversified Communications UK will be unveiling more high-profile speakers over the coming weeks.  As in previous years, its Keynote Theatre (sponsored by Yumpingo) will host a mix of exclusive seminars, interviews, research updates, and panel discussions.

Of course, at Casual Dining, the ‘big names’ aren’t just reserved for the keynote stage.  The central exhibition, covering three floors of the BDC, boasts over 200 companies – including global food and drink brands like Coca-Cola European Partners, Schweppes, Heineken UK, Nestle Professional, Lamb Weston, H.J Heinz, McCain Foodservice, Budweiser Budvar, and Carlsberg.  While the visitors themselves represent all the leading pub, bar and restaurant operators across the UK – from the national high street multiples to the regional independents.

On February 22, CGA will be releasing its annual 2018 Business Leaders survey at Casual Dining. Peter Martin will be present. On the same day, Business Unit Director Jamie Campbell will be speaking on current market trends and Commercial Director Graeme Loudon will share food inflation trends. 

Free trade registration now open

Visit and quote priority code CD5 (direct link:




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