The 2024 Agenda

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


See below the full agenda for Hostech 2024

Registration from 9.30am. Conference programme from 10am-4.30pm, followed by networking and drinks.




AI: friend or foe? 10.05

Tom Weaver, tech entrepreneur, author and futurist

With all the media hype suggesting AI will restructure entire industries and working practices, just how transformative will it be for hospitality? Start-up founder and tech futurist Tom Weaver will explore the potential, while poring over a smorgasbord of digital innovations both consumer-facing and back of house.


PizzaExpress’ multi-million loyalty scheme 10.25

Arslan Sharif, digital and loyalty director

Since launching in 2021, the PizzaExpress Club app now has two million users, offering customers a range of perks and rewards. A key strand of the brand’s digital transformation strategy, digital and loyalty director Arslan Sharif will share the mechanics of the scheme, and how it drives loyalty across dine-in, delivery and retail channels.


Panel: Targeted marketing & tools of the trade 10.45

Jess Wright, Marketing & Sales Director, Caravan Coffee Roasters; Simran Sablok, Creams; and Richard Whitehouse, Mitchells & Butlers

As businesses accelerate their digital transformations, a wealth of opportunities opens up for more sophisticated digital marketing. In this session we will explore some of the tools of the trade marketers are utilising to drive sales, including capturing and managing consumer data, segmenting consumer demographics, and designing bespoke promotions, loyalty and rewards.


Stonegate: Game-changing digital media at the UK’s biggest pub company 11.35

James Metcalfe, marketing director, Stonegate Group

Stonegate’s newly launched digital network, MiXR, puts the pub company behemoth at the forefront of digital transformation in the hospitality sector. Connecting guests to the entire 850-strong managed estate, it will also provide opportunities for brands to tap into circa 100 million guest visits each year through digital retail media. Marketing director James Metcalfe will explain how MiXR is a genuine game changer, allowing guests to find and book venues, earn loyalty rewards and unlock personalised experiences whilst allowing brands to connect with target consumers throughout their digital and physical journeys in outlet.


Panel: The tech powering hospitality experiences 11.55

Gavin Williams, F1® Arcade, Nick Jones, Lucky Voice and Juliette Keyte, Red Engine

Experiential leisure has emerged as a high-growth segment of the market, as consumers seek out competitive games and immersive experiences when they go out. In this panel we will explore the technology that powers these concepts, how the game play and hardware is developed, and what the future looks like for investment in tech and experiential concepts.


Pizza Pilgrims: 20/20 vision with tech as the driver 12.15

Sophie Gilchriest, Finance Director

With a mission to create happiness for guests and customers one pizza at a time, Pizza Pilgrims’ use of tech, is helping the growing restaurant group focus on that purpose. Finance Director Sophie Gilchriest will share how the implementation of bespoke fintech alongside integrating existing tech, is driving financial efficiencies and operational insight, as well as helping the business align its KPIs.


Panel: Innovation in delivery – with Burger King, Uber and Slerp 13.35

Timothy Love, director of digital marketing, Burger King; Gabriella Overeem-Yee, Head of Enterprise, Uber Eats UKI; Zal Dordi, chief operating officer, Slerp

As delivery volumes continue to stabilise, operators are scrutinising their offerings to ensure it fits with their wider digital transformation strategy. In this panel session, we will explore trends in the delivery landscape, consider what strategies brands are utilising to get the most of their chosen platforms, and discuss whether white label solutions offer the key to a closer customer relationship.


The Ivy: Elevated experiences through digital 13.55

Jon Davis, chief technology officer, The Ivy Collection, Caprice Holdings, The Birley Clubs, Bill's Restaurants

The Ivy Premier Rewards is the latest high-profile restaurant loyalty app to enter the market, offering customers the chance to earn points across participating restaurants in the group. Hailed as more than just an app, The Ivy describes it as an invitation to an elevated dining experience through exclusive rewards and seamless reservations. Group chief technology officer Jon Davis will share more about the app’s USPs, while giving an overview of digital developments at the group including trends in customer experience.


Gail’s Bakery: Building craft at scale 14.15

Rosie Hill, head of e-commerce

Expanding on the success of its mobile app and newly introduced kiosks, GAIL's Bakery is doubling down on its commitment to craft - while enhancing accessibility and operational efficiency. At GAIL's, technological adoption isn't just about evolution; it's about revolutionising the way the company bakes and engages with its communities; enabling it to better deliver craft at scale. Head of e-commerce Rosie Hill will detail how the brand is improving the customer experience, operations and quality, while reducing waste, which is critical to its values.


Azzurri Group: Driving great in-restaurant experiences with digital 14.55

Joel Robinson, digital & technology director

Azzurri Group is on a mission to leverage digital technology to attract and retain customers. In this keynote presentation, Joel will discuss the digital transformation journey and critical tech infrastructure at the ASK and Zizzi operator, how it manages customer relationships through its CRM platform, and drives loyalty and frequency with perks and offers. He will also discuss innovative ideas to tackle the challenge of managing complex datasets at the Italian casual dining group.


Panel: Technology for growth, with Caravan, Marugame Udon, Rosa’s and Sessions 15.15

Keith Bird, CEO, Marugame Udon, Stefan Marjanovic, director at Sessions, Tsara Taylor, Finance Director, Rosa’s Thai Café

The panel will talk about the use of technology to help drive businesses, either through the development of loyalty schemes, back of house tech that speeds up service, or through offering a retail channel. They will also discuss the future potential of technology, including AI, that will help them as they grow.


JKS Restaurants: Optimising the guest journey to unlock sales and covers growth 15.35

David Staley, marketing director; Vanessa Torrie, head of sales, events & reservations; and Tom Ward, director of operations

Is there an essential divide between a restaurant’s reservations platform and the rest of their digital guest experience? Not for BAO, Berenjak and Gymkhana operator JKS Restaurants. In a collaborative cross department effort, JKS have reimagined their digital guest journey as an end-to-end, unified whole which spans reservations, web, CRM, social and more. In this special panel three senior members of the JKS team share how this approach, combined with a relentless focus on data driven optimisation, has unlocked growth in covers and sales across the group.


Book your team places here.