Global Restaurant Investment Forum

25-27 February 2019 – NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam


25-27 February 2019 – Amsterdam

2019 Programme

Day Three -Wednesday 27 February

← At-a-glance

08:30 - 08:55

Breakfast Networking

08:55 - 09:00

Welcome Back

Jennifer Pettinger-Haines – Managing Director Middle East , Bench Events; Co-Founder, GRIF


09:00 - 09:30

What is the current environment like for private equity investment into the F&B sector?

What are investors looking for and what should operators looking to take on investment be aware of? Have lessons been learnt in recent years? What is the environment like for transactions?

Dogan Eymirlioglu – Partner, Dentons

In conversation with:

Abe Matamoros – Managing Director, Capdesia

Dillipraj Rajakarier – CEO of Minor Hotels & COO of Minor International

09:30 - 09:50

Recent investor trends and investor activity in smaller European markets

A GRIF & THINK Hospitality original research round-up.

Michael Ingemann – Executive Chairman, Claus Meyer Holding; Director, Melting Pot Foundation

09:50 - 10:20

Exploring Alternative Low Capex Growth Opportunities for Operators

Consumers now demand good quality, differentiated F&B everywhere from hotels to co-working spaces, members clubs to gyms. Operators are now presented with opportunities for growth that demand lower capex and often a captive audience. How can these opportunities be leveraged and what are the pitfalls to avoid?

Jon Yantin – Chief Executive Officer, Stake Concepts

In conversation with:

Eric Jafari – Managing Director of SACO Property Group; Co-Founder & Creative Director, Locke Hotels

Roger Payne – Chief Executive Officer, The Camden Dining Group

Jeremy Scarf – Managing Director, Keane Brands

10:20 - 10:40

Case Study Big Mamma: Creating innovation, aspiration and a 100 million Euro evaluation

What is the philosophy driving this restaurant group enabling it to achieve such financial and popular success? What is their vision for the future?

Victor Lugger – Co-founder, Big Mamma Group

10:40 - 11:00

Creating and Growing a Collection

Catering for toward the move towards authenticity, community and micro-cultures. How to manage and develop a portfolio of individual restaurants and brands, while maintaining quality and identity across the portfolio. Hear about how these operators have driven growth through this model.

Jillian MacLean – Founder & CEO, Drake & Morgan

Vadim Lapin – Founder & CEO, Ginza Project

11:00 - 11:30

Coffee Break

11:30 - 11:50

21st Century Experiences. What really matters?

According to Forbes in 2018 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience – up from just 36% in 2010. But while 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences” only 8% of customers agree. How do you stay in that 8%? A dive into the key drivers of creating customer brand advocacy through experience, and how to start unpicking the right touch points for success.

Simon Taylor – Founder, Swiperight

In conversation with

Peter Backman – Principal, Peter Backman

Frances Dore – Chief Marketing Officer, Caprice Holdings

Isidoro Martínez de la Escalera – Chief Marketing Officer, NH Hotel Group

Virginia Anne Newton – Director of Media Relations & Special Events, Restaurant Geranium

11:50 - 12:10

MasterChef: Creating next the level of EATERTAINMENT

Turning viewers into diners by harnessing the huge global popularity of MasterChef and translating what is on the screen into a bricks and mortar experience. How have the production company and operator worked together to create the first ever MasterChef Restaurant? What can be learnt from the world’s most successful cooking show on remaining true to the global brand while being authentic to the local audience? How have these qualities also been translated into the restaurant?

Aaron Noveshen – President and Founder , The Culinary Edge

In conversation with:

Duncan Fraser-Smith – Director, Global Food and Beverage, The First Group

Frances Adams – Group Director, Brand Strategy, Endemol Shine Group

12:10 - 12:45

Competitive Socialising – fad or the future?

What people want from a night out; looking at how consumers are spending their time and money on more quality and experience-driven products. Looking at the rise of competitive socialising, is it here to stay and what can the restaurant sector learn from it?

Presentation by

Jenna Webb – Project Manager, The Culinary Edge

Followed by a conversation with:

Ginger Flesher Sonnier – Founder/CEO, The Ginger Companies

Robert Thompson – CEO, Founder, Punch Bowl Social

Yasha Estraikh – Associate Partner, Piper Private Equity

12:45 - 13:00

KEYNOTE: One-to-one conversation: Yossi Eliyahoo

A conversation with Yossi Eliyahoo, Founder & Co-Owner, The Entourage Group on creating covetable experiences from fast casual to Michelin starred experiences, how do you create and business and infrastructure that can support growth and internationalisation across such varied products?

Yossi Eliyahoo – Founder and co-owner, The Entourage Group

13:00 - 14:00



14:00 - 14:30

KEYNOTE:One-on-one conversation: Raymond Blanc OBE

Industry legend Raymond Blanc OBE - Chef Patron, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons; Founder, The Raymond Blanc Consultancy in a one on one interview focusing on his work as the President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).

Raymond Blanc OBE – Chef Patron, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons; Founder, The Raymond Blanc Consultancy; President of The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA)

14:30 - 14:50

The Future is FoodTech

Bricks and Mortar will break my bones but Foodtech will never harm me!

Chris Fung – Former CEO, CRUSSH – Fit Food & Juice Bars

14:50 - 15:20

Young Disruptors Series: Innovating to cater for the new wave of conscious consumption

Looking at a wave of innovators who are creating products to match consumers growing preferences and resulting industry needs.

Monique Borst – Consultant, Monique Borst Ltd

In conversation with:

Reinder Bakker – Owner, Overtreders W

15:20 - 16:30

The GRIF Deal Den: More than Money

A panel of expert judges not only with capital but with expertise to take your business to the next level. They evaluate the attractiveness of a selection of concepts and projects for investment.

Hosted by:

Sarah-Jane Grant – Director, LXA


Paul Campbell – Founder , Hill Capital Partners

Abe Matamoros – Managing Director, Capdesia

Dillipraj Rajakarier – CEO of Minor Hotels & COO of Minor International

Martin Sherwood – Senior Development Director, Kin Capital

Enter your concept now – email:

16:00 - 16:10

Closing Remarks

Jennifer Pettinger-Haines – Managing Director Middle East , Bench Events; Co-Founder, GRIF