Planning is almost complete for Atlantic Club’s next international tour, which runs in Washington DC from October 22 to 24. The trip to the US capital will see British and American restaurant and bar operators, along with investors, visiting concepts, meeting fellow leaders and entrepreneurs and exploring opportunities across its dynamic eating and drinking out market.

The exploration of Washington, the jumping off point for many an international brand wanting to make waves in North America, follows fast on the heels of the Club’s successful UK tour of Manchester’s vibrant food and drink scene last month.

CGA vice president, Peter Martin

Atlantic Club, run by UK industry veteran and CGA vice president Peter Martin (pictured below), is an exclusive network for senior executives from the out-of-home food and drink market wanting to operate, or already trading, internationally - or simply interested in the global perspective.

Washington DC with its international flavour remains an important destination for global players, as well as US operators expanding out of their home states and regions, with Leon, the UK-based healthy fast-food brand, the latest to join fellow overseas players like Vapiano and Nando’s.

The DC itinerary includes:

Day One welcome reception (October 22)

  • Fogo de Chao, at Pike & Rose – cocktails, tour and tasting hosted by Andy Feldman, Fogo de Chao’s president, international, with welcome address from Atlantic Club founder Peter Martin
  • The restaurant is in the Pike & Rose shopping mall, providing an opportunity to see other brands, including Summer House Santa Monica (part of Lettuce Entertain You), and with a short detour to see Slapfish Restaurant, a modern seafood shack, with over 20 locations in the US, and plans for a London opening.

Day Two breakfast meeting (October 23) at the Washington offices of the National Restaurant Association, with breakfast supplied courtesy of Leon

  • Market briefings begin with welcome from the National Restaurant Association, followed by a series of specialist presentations from speakers including:
  • Wally Doolin, co-founder, TDn2K, and Phil Tate, CEO, CGA (pictured below), on Trends and developments in the US and UK food and drink markets
  • Michael Atkinson, founder of Orderscape, and Luke Fryer, founder of Harri, on What next for technology in global hospitality?
  • Keith Anderson, a who heads up the US business of international design and branding consultancy Harrison, the founding partner of Atlantic Club, will contrast latest design developments both sides of the Atlantic.
  • Plus latest perspectives on employment, funding, real estate and legal in a global marketplace, with formal discussions moderated by Peter Martin
Phil Tate, CGA Group chief executive

Day Two lunch and afternoon concept tour, with hosted visits to a mixture of European concepts already in DC, national US brands and local concepts, including: Leon, Sweetgreen, Vapiano, Nando’s, Taim Falafel, Rosa Mexicano, The Smith, The Source by Wolfgang Puck and Taco Bamba.

Late afternoon regroup at Mi Vida Restaurante, with welcome and run-down of latest DC developments from KNEAD Hospitality founder, Jason Berry, followed by an evening walking dining tour of Penn Quarter, with visits to Succotash, and a selection of restaurants run by celebrated chef Jose Andres’ ThinkFoodGroup, including Jaleo (Spanish), China Chilcano (Peruvian), and Zaytinya (Eastern Mediterranean).

Day Three breakfast meeting (October 24) at Five Guys corporate headquarters in Lorton, Virginia, with welcome from global COO Sam Chamberlain, who will talk about the Five Guys story and how its international expansion in the UK and Europe has helped develop the brand’s positioning, followed by a general discussion on how much brands need to adapt to new markets and how much keep to their core values, and then a visit to a Five Guys restaurant

The tour will end with a return to DC via the National Harbor for further concept visits and farewell drinks.

Stacey Kane, head of US marketing and customer magnetism for Leon, will be helping to host the Atlantic Club visit, assisting in guiding the contingent to discover the best that DC has to offer.

Terry Varner and Laura Fink of Herman-Stewart, which is a based just outside of DC, and has constructed many of Nando’s US sites, among others, will also be on hand to provide expert insight into the DC and US markets.

Said club founder Peter Martin: “We like to keep Atlantic Club events intimate and are expecting around 30 operators and investors from across the US and Europe to join us on this fact-finding trip. As well as seeing operations first-hand, talking to owners, both from corporates and start-ups, and gaining valuable market knowledge from expert advisors, the big benefit from our previous trips is the relationships and contacts that operators forge from meeting and spending time with their peers.”

If you are an operator or owner who would like to join the Washington tour, get in touch with the club’s business manager Sophie Spedding, via Sophie@petermartin-online.com .

  • Atlantic Club is an informal, invitation-only forum bringing together like-minded business leaders, brand-owners and entrepreneurs, restaurant and bar operators, from across the global food and drink spectrum. Its role is to help de-risk companies’ international strategies, by allowing senior executives to come together to gain new insights, exchange views and experiences, understand different market conditions and new working practices, to connect with and learn from both global and local experts, and develop contacts and partnerships in a confidential environment, while experiencing new places and ideas.
  • International design and branding consultancy Harrison, as one of the instigators of the Atlantic Club idea, has become Atlantic Club’s founding business partner and headline supporter, with US-based construction company Herman-Stewart and online people management specialist Harri becoming principal partners and supporters. CGA, the global data and research organisation, with offices in Manchester and Chicago, is the Club’s insight partner.
     

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