Hotelympia is all about providing a platform for restaurants, hotels, pubs, casual dining and contract caterers to meet, review and source from suppliers. The event, taking place from 5-8 March at London’s ExCel, is introducing four exciting and contemporary shows, all under the one roof, as part of its fresh new identity. Check out what to expect at the must-attend event.

The Professional Kitchen Show

The Professional Kitchen Show is set to offer 2018’s very first view of everything new in catering equipment and kitchen design. Backed by key manufacturing and wholesale groups, it welcomes over 150 dedicated exhibitors to the show floor – the largest gathering of its kind in the UK.

Interiors and Tableware Show

The Interiors and Tableware Show will offer visitors a range of innovative suppliers – including pioneering design houses and interior specialists – and experiential features backed by specially-commissioned insight.

The Foodservice Show incorporating Café Commerce

The Foodservice Show will celebrate the dynamism, diversity and depth of innovation within this market. The Show will include a very special Café Commerce section, with innovative coffee-focused suppliers showcasing their products.

The International Salon Culinaire is also returning as part of the Foodservice Show, presenting new challenges and showcasing fresh talent. Student and professional chefs will be called upon to battle it out in over 100 competitions.

The four categories will all return: Live Theatre – with a fast-moving series of hot live cooking classes; La Parade des Chefs – which sees two teams prepare a three course lunch for 100 covers each day; the Skills Theatre, sponsored by Le Cordon Bleu London – aimed at chefs and front-of-house staff in the early stages of their careers; and Salon Display classes, sponsored by Compass Group – an inspiring range of hand-crafted exhibits in sugar, chocolate, fat, pastillage and more.

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A host of new challenges, brought about by key trends, have also been introduced. Chefs will have the opportunity to show their understanding of veganism and street food with the arrival of the Quorn Vegan Challenge, Pan Artisan Street Food Dough Ball Challenge and Cheese Starter. Also new is the Craft Guild of Chefs’ National Team of the Year, which will see talented chef trios go head to head for the chance to be crowned this year’s champions.

Over a dozen of the UK’s most exciting chefs including Dan Doherty, executive chef at 24-hour restaurant Duck and Waffle, Michelin star chef Paul Ainsworth, of Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow and winner of the Great British Menu 2017, Pip Lacey, will also be in attendance, offering up interactive cooking demos on The Staff Canteen Live.

Hospitality Tech Show

The Hospitality Tech Innovation Theatre will also be at the heart of this show. A number of insightful seminars, panel discussions and talks around key issues will be held at the theatre.

The final day of Hotelympia (Thursday March 8th 2018) is set to become Women in Hospitality Day, as the show marks International Women’s Day with a programme of content celebrating inspirational female talent and furthering the conversation on women in the industry. Hotelympia’s Women in Hospitality day will celebrate successes, look at challenges and focus on opportunities for women in the industry, showcasing both female and male champions, and giving visitors the perfect opportunity to connect with and learn from top industry leaders.

Hotelympia Portfolio Director, Ross Carter, commented: “With recent statistics^ from the Change Group highlighting that it is men (58%) who currently dominate hospitality senior managerial roles as well as ownership of restaurants and catering establishments, it has never been more important to use our platform, as the UK’s biggest hospitality event, to debate what the industry can do to progress more female talent through the ranks.

“But it’s not just about progressing younger candidates, we need further thinking around how we welcome women back into the workforce following maternity, while there is also the wider and more fragmented issue of the gender pay gap at play.

“Similarly, when it comes to chefs, projections suggest that we will need an additional 11,000 over the next five years to ward off a potential skills crisis. This is precisely the type of situation where, with the right talent management, accomplished female chefs can help tip the balance. There are already signs of green shoots with the number of female chefs in the UK reportedly growing by 34% over the past 12 months – the biggest single rise over the past five years^ – but more needs to be done.”

Most recently the show has also announced three brand new future-focused stages set to entertain, inspire and inform.

1. Hospitality Futures

This brand new feature stage is designed to deliver solutions to some of the burning questions surrounding the industry. With content curated and hosted by captains of industry best practice and focused on driving step changes from the floorboards up, Hospitality Futures is set to provide strategies and ideas for visitors to take back to their own places of work.

Looming future trends like Brexit, staff retention, guest experience, sustainability, the sugar tax, allergens and women in hospitality will all be up for debate with luminaries including, Government Night Czar, Amy Lamé; incoming managing director of London’s Hotel Cafe Royal and Guillaume Marly; British Hospitality Association Employment Policy Advisor.

2. The Launchpad

The Launchpad will be introducing some of the UK’s most exciting new businesses, and should prove a serious draw for buyers, the big beasts of finance and those looking to make the jump into their own dream start-up. The programme of 30 minute hustings will include; the socially conscious online platform that works with environmentally aware, independent producers, COLLECTIVfood; health kids jelly snack, Naturelly; gourmet food delivery service, Supper; bookings and comparison site for the country’s best street food caterers, Feast It; creators of biologically-accurate food expiry indicator, Mimica and Deliveroo rival MealPal, among many others.

The Launchpad will also play host to young chef Emily Roux who will be talking about her experience as part of one of the world’s most celebrated cooking dynasties and how her profession is developing savvy new revenue streams.

3. The Tech Innovation Stage in partnership with HOSPA

The Tech Innovation Stage presents the perfect opportunity for visitors to stay up to date with the latest hospitality technology, with talks and panel discussions from digital innovators and those who will be setting the agenda for years to come.
Topics like innovations in mobile, social media, online reputation management, ordering, networking, point of sale, the latest in guest room technology and women’s growing contribution to the sector will all be up for discussion.