With business confidence improving, the restaurant bubble starting to deflate and deals being done, is now the moment to be bold or remain watchful? That’s the big question at next week’s Future of Finance conference at 30 Euston Square.

As research reveals a return to cautious optimism among company bosses, CGA and industry leaders are gearing up to discuss the big market opportunities and challenges at the CGA conference in London next Thursday, June 21 – and there’s still time to book your seat for the debate (see below).

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Despite mounting property and people costs, the CGA Fourth Business Confidence Survey indicates a bounceback in confidence in the second quarter of 2018. Three quarters (75%) of company leaders now say they are optimistic about prospects for their business over the next 12 months—11 percentage points up on three months earlier.

Other recent CGA data suggests a pause in the rapid roll-out of many brands in the casual dining sector in particular—but signs of new energy in the out of home eating and drinking sector have come in deals for several leading brands in the last few weeks, including Pret, Bel & the Dragon and Rosa’s.

An up-to-the-minute perspective on growth and investment will come from Jurriaan van der Schee, leader of the TriSpan private equity team that has just acquired a majority stake in Rosa’s. He will be part of an expert Future of Finance panel discussing market hot spots and black spots, alongside Paul Newman, head of hospitality and leisure at RSM, and Mark Sheehan, managing director at Coffer Corporate Leisure.

Other major players at Future of Finance include Deltic CEO Peter Marks, Burger King UK Alasdair Murdoch and Various Eateries CEO Sue Walter, who will come together to analyse the impact of changes on the high street on growth and investment in the sector.

The Conference will also tackle the question of how best to deploy technology to improve efficiencies and appeal to an increasingly tech-literate consumer base. Speakers providing the inside track on restaurant, pub and bar tech are PizzaExpress IT director Siobhan Fagan, The Restaurant Group CIO Simon Iddon and YFood partner and CMO Athena Simpson. Barclaycard’s programme director James McDonald will add a session on how brands can keep pace with change in pay technology.

The Conference will also cast an expert eye over political issues including Brexit with the help of Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality. CGA vice president and renowned industry expert Peter Martin will chair proceedings, while CGA director Karl Chessell and client director Fiona Speakman will talk on the make-up of the market and pricing strategies respectively.

Future of Finance is run in partnership with BarclaycardCoffer Corporate LeisureCPL OnlineFourthRSM, and Zonal. The invitation-only event takes place at the 30 Euston Square State Room in London on June 21. Click here to apply for a place.

     

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