Agenda

Our daylong conference provides an ideal platform for operators, suppliers and technology leaders to converge to shine a light on the leading tech innovations in the sector.

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Sessions

A blend of presentations, panel sessions and networking time, Hostech is the perfect place to discuss market disruptors, best-in-class concepts, headwinds and opportunities.

While speakers for 2023 are to be announced, take a look at this year's sessions below.

The Four Pillars: Jatin Chandwani, chief technology officer, KFC UK & Ireland

Jatin will share progress on the four pillars of the company’s digital and technology strategy. In an exclusive Hostech presentation, he will discuss the brand’s focus on digital experiences, data analytics, restaurant automation and proactive service, as the strategy enters its third and final year.

chief technology officer
KFC UK & Ireland

Jatin Chandwani is Chief Technology Officer at KFC UK & Ireland. He is a creative and innovative technology leader. He has delivered business change programmes in small, mid-size and large organisations spread across different geographies and industries (media, betting & gaming, telecoms, travel and hospitality). Previous to KFC, Jatin worked at Carnival UK (P&O Cruises and Cunard Cruises) and Tui in leadership positions driving digital transformation and platform development.

Digital milestones: Neil Miller, chief customer officer, itsu

The shift from footfall to fingers: Having worked with McDonald’s, KFC, Samsung, Adidas and now itsu, chief customer officer Neil Miller will discuss how key digital milestones have impacted F&B, including the explosive growth of e-commerce and the advent of smartphones. He will also put the direct-to-consumer goldrush into context and set out the challenges itsu

chief customer officer
Itsu

Neil Miller was appointed chief customer officer – a new role at Itsu – in September 2021, with a brief to lead the Asian restaurant business’ customer proposition, bringing together marketing, digital transformation and brand management.

He has worked on digital transformation projects for global brands including McDonald’s, Samsung and Adidas, through his previous roles at creative agencies including BHH Group, WPP and Possible.

Loyalty: Sarah Venning, chief information & transformation officer, Pret A Manger

Sarah will discuss the pilot launch of Pret’s highly anticipated loyalty scheme, Pret Perks. Now being beta tested with its Pret Coffee Subscribers, Pret Perks will allow customers to earn stars every time they shop or use their coffee subscription at Pret or via Click & Collect. The scheme is the latest step in Pret’s omnichannel transformation plan, which aims to bring Pret to more people and enhance its digital offering.

chief information & transformation officer
Pret A Manger

Sarah is chief information & transformation officer at Pret A Manger, where she has been for three years. Sarah was previously director of IT, strategy and infrastructure at the John Lewis Partnership, and director of IT performance and planning at BAA

Data Panel: Hannah Berry, director of marketing & communications, Corbin & King, Nick Liddle, commercial director, Vita Mojo & Erica Livermore, chief technology officer, Fridays

There was exponential growth of digital adoption driven by Covid-19, but wholesale digital transformation remains a work in progress. This panel will explore how businesses are capturing customer data, in order to drive sales through targeted marketing, boost operational efficiency and inform effective menu engineering.

chief technology officer
Fridays

Erica Livermore is chef technology officer at Fridays, part of the recently listed Hostmore. She has been with the restaurant and bar brand since June 2020, and before that was customer experience and intelligence director at Virgin Active. Before that she worked for De Vere Hotels.

director of marketing & comunications
Corbin & King

Hannah Berry has been director of marketing and communications for Corbin & King since 2019. Beginning her career in operations with Morgan's Hotel Group and Sanderson hotels, she later moved into marketing, with roles at D&D London, The Criterion Restaurant and Kettner's before becoming director of marketing at Aqua Shard.

commercial director
Vita Mojo

Nick Liddle is commercial director at Vita Mojo, the food-to-go operator turned tech provider. The company creates solutions for the likes of Nando's, Leon and Honest Burger, which include mobile order & pay, self-service kiosks and click & collect.

MCA contributing editor
MCA

Peter Martin is the co-founder and contributing editor of MCA and sits on the advisory council of UK Hospitality.

Digital engagement panel: Ben Hibbard, head of marketing Turtle Bay, Libby Andrews, marketing director, Pho, Nish Bhattarai, digital marketing lead, Pizza Pilgrims

Social media continues to be a cost-effective way of targeting consumers, but the hospitality sector is yet to fully take advantage of it. Our panellists discuss how they are harnessing platforms such as Instagram and Tik Tok to get bums on seats and how they manage to keep pace with the fast-moving world of digital media.

head of marketing
Turtle Bay

Ben heads up the marketing for the Caribbean inspired restaurant group, overseeing the brand with a focus on maximising digital channels to reach new guests and building online reputation. He joined Turtle Bay in 2019 and before this held senior marketing roles at Boston Tea Party and Nando’s.

marketing director
Pho

Libby Andrews is an award-winning marketer with significant experience across the US and UK food and drink industries. She has worked on leading-sector campaigns for a broad mix of well-known operators and retail brands. Libby is currently marketing director of Pho, where she heads up all communications for the fast-growing, national Vietnamese restaurant group.

marketing manager
Pizza Pilgrims

With a background in science and operations, Nish joined Pizza Pilgrims when it was eight-strong, and has helped the company grow to over 15 sites, leading innovation and new marketing trends at the company. A believer in do first and apologise later, Nish helped Pizza Pilgrims execute marketing strategies including Just Dough It, the Pizza Pilgrims Student Hunt and the new concept Slice. During lockdown, she was a key player in helping the business pivot during the pandemic with Pizza in The Post.

Delivery Panel: Daniel Smith, delivery director, McDonalds UK&I, Max Rawlinson, commercial director, Deliveroo Editions

Delivery emerged as a clear winner during the pandemic, helping brands reach customers during Covid and accelerating consumer trends around convenience and on-demand. With digital sales reshaping the sales mix of forward-thinking operators, managing this new capacity with efficiency and speed is an increasingly central part of the conversation. In this panel we will explore how brands and aggregators are using tech to manage this surging demand.

delivery director
McDonalds UK&I

Daniel Smith is delivery director for McDonald’s for the UK & Ireland. A chartered accountant, he has held a number of roles at the quick service brand, including head of business insight, head of corporate finance, and head of franchise finance.

founder
Butchies

Garrett founded Fried chicken brand Butchies as a street food business in 2013 when he and his wife Emer returned to London after an extended period of time in New York. He opened his first Butchies restaurant in Shoreditch in 2017. Previously, Garrett was a director at property management company Findlay Property Investment.

commercial director
Deliveroo Editions

Max Rawlinson is commercial director of Deliveroo Editions, a role he has held since October 2020. Joining the delivery company four years ago, he previously held strategy roles at HSBC and Accenture.

Reputation Panel: Chris Sparling, CX strategy director, Reputation and Megan Burton-Brown, head of marketing, Tortilla

Managing reputations across multiple channels, in the pandemic and beyond.

With restaurants and pubs still feeling the impact of the pandemic, having a strong online reputation and robust customer experience strategy could be the difference between success and failure. Our panel of experts will share how they have managed the plethora of feedback about their brands and how it can positively impact their digital presence and improve guest experiences. We will also discuss what the future of CX looks like as businesses start to take an increasingly omnichannel approach.

CX strategy director
Reputation

Chris Sparling is a 15-year veteran of the customer experience (CX) sector, with experience in Retail, hospitality, automotive, travel, call centres and digital/technology. Previously of InMoment, he is currently CX Strategy Director at Reputation, and has been with the Silicon Valley-headquartered business since September 2020.

digital & content marketing manager
Wells & Co.

Marie Kinvig is the Digital & Content Marketing Manager for Wells & Co. Working in the hospitality industry for 7 years including a 5 year career at Heron & Brealey as Marketing Manager, Kinvig is no stranger to the digital world. Wells have over 25 Managed Houses in the UK and 17 in France, she heads up Wells’ online Reputation platform, a crucial part of the guest experience across the group including integration in to our Leased and Tenanted estate consisting of 134 venues.

head of marketing
Tortilla

Originally from New Zealand, Tortilla’s head of marketing Megan Burton-Brown joined the fast-casual brand in 2017. With 64 burrito and taco joints globally, she oversees Tortilla down-to-earth marketing and digital strategy; from harnessing the power of social influencers and brand collaborations, to using digital innovation to maximise online reputation.

Payment: the $100m question: Victor Lugger, co-founder & CEO, Big Mamma Group & sunday

Victor describes his unique journey as an operator launching and attracting $100m funding for sunday, a dedicated tech solution for restaurants, and its progress so far.

co-founder
Big Mamma Group & Sunday

Victor Lugger is co-founder and CEO of admired pan European operator Big Mamma Group. Victor describes his unique journey as an operator launching and attracting $100m funding for sunday, a dedicated tech solution for restaurants, and its progress so far.

Digital only foodcos: Anton Soulier, founder & CEO, Taster

Redefining a 21st century restaurant group: With the delivery-only market predicted to grow to $1 trillion by 2030, Anton Soulier, founder and CEO of Taster, will speak about how his company took the decision to build its own digital solution in-house. He will also give an overview of how tech enables digital-only food companies to expand at pace, and how digital solutions can help make operations more efficient and increase margins by tackling issues such as food waste.

founder & CEO
Taster

Anton Soulier is the founder and CEO of Taster – a London-based company behind a series of popular digital restaurant brands including Out Fry (Korean fried chicken), Mission Saigon (Vietnamese street food), A Burgers (vegan burgers), and Pepe Chicken (American fried chicken). Soulier founded the business in 2017 after working for Deliveroo in France, where he was inspired to set up his own group of digital food brands designed specifically for delivery. Taster now has over 120 digital restaurants in 25 cities across the UK, France, Spain and Belgium. The company has raised over $50 million to date and is scaling through a licensing model on its mission to build the world’s largest digital restaurant group.

REEF Technology - Digitising urban spaces: Chris Sargeant - VP REEF Kitchens Europe

With a commitment to open 700 Wendy’s delivery kitchens in the U.S., Canada and the UK over the next five years, REEF Technology bills itself as the largest operator of mobility, logistics hubs and delivery restaurants in the world. In this exclusive presentation, VP REEF Kitchens Europe Chris Sargeant will talk about how the SoftBank-backed tech company is expanding its UK operations by bringing delivery-only kitchen partnerships to repurposed urban environments.

VP
REEF Kitchens Europe

With over three decades of experience working at the intersection of consumer brands and hospitality, Chris Sargeant has lived at the cutting edge of culinary innovation and bringing amazing experiences to life. As head of REEF Kitchens for all of Europe, Chris helps restaurant brands connect to more customers while improving local neighbourhoods by reimagining traditional single-use spaces such as parking lots and hotel kitchens. He lives in London and previously founded the Handmade Burger Company, where he served as COO for eleven months as it scaled to 30 locations and a team of over 800.

Automation & Robots: Barney Wragg, CEO, Karakuri

Staffing is one of the biggest challenges facing the hospitality industry, with food quality and wastage not far behind. In this innovator session, Barney Wragg, CEO of Karakuri, will set out a vision of robots and humans working efficiently in partnership in the kitchens of tomorrow – and share insights from a pilot at Ocado's staff restaurant, where Karakuri's Semblr robot has been trialled for the last three months.

CEO
Karakuri

Barney Wragg is the CEO of Karakuri, which builds robots to assist in restaurant kitchens. Barney previously worked in the music industry, leading the digital divisions of Universal and EMI and introducing new licensing and engagement models with iTunes, YouTube and Spotify. He was also CEO of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group.

Tech ecosystems: Whitney Myrus, founder and managing director, Franchise Growth & Development

Whitney will discuss how he has successfully brought restaurant brands including The Halal Guys, Eggslut, and Orange Buffalo to the UK via franchising and how he has led the procurement of multiple technology sets to create technology ecosystems that are cost effective but also provide valuable customer and business insights.

founder & managing director
Franchise Growth & Development

Whitney Myrus, founder and managing director, Franchise Growth & Development For over 25 years Whitney has advised numerous restaurant concepts to grow through franchising, including Copeland’s of New Orleans, The Halal Guys, Eggslut, and Orange Buffalo. He was previously a consultant for online coffee marketplace app COFE App working with both independent coffee houses and international franchises vendors.