Global Restaurant Investment Forum

11-13 February 2020 | NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

11-13 February 2020 | NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky

Day Two - Wednesday 12 February

← At-a-glance

08:00 - 08:45

Breakfast networking

09:00 - 09:10

Welcome remarks

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

Herman Klok – Regional Director of Operations Amsterdam, UK, Switzerland, NH Hotel Group

09:10 - 09:30

See what's next

In this fast-paced keynote Henry Mason (Managing Director, TrendWatching) will share five powerful glimpses of the future from outside the restaurant industry that will keep you ahead of the pack. As well as leaving you inspired, he'll also share the secret of spotting trends, too. Strap in!

Presentation by:

Henry Mason – Managing Director, Trend Watching

09:30 - 09:50

Global restaurants trends

thefoodpeople’s global trends network travel around the world to get a big picture overview of the forces shifting the future of the sector. What are some of the emerging trends and those on the verge of breaking through?

Presentation by:

Charles Banks – Co-Founder, thefoodpeople

09:50 - 10:10

What have the last 12 months held?

What are some of the major transactions to have taken place? A look at the global restaurant sector from an investor’s perspective.

Presentation by:

Graeme Smith – Managing Director, AlixPartners - London

10:10 - 10:40

Industry’s perspective

How do operators view the outlook for the sector? Which markets and sectors are proving lucrative and which are more challenging? Where do they have their eyes on for growth and expansion?

Mario C. Bauer – Co-Founder, Curtice Brothers; Co-Founder, White Space Partners; Brand Ambassador, AmRest

In conversation with:

Yossi Eliyahoo – Founder, The Entourage Group

Jo Fleet – Managing Director, Flat Iron

Jillian MacLean – Founder & CEO, Drake & Morgan

Kurt Zdesar – Founder, NZR Group

10:40 - 11:10

Coffee break

11:10 - 11:40

The evolving nature of F&B and real estate

Lines are well and truly blurred as F&B has worked its way into retail, office space, gyms and pretty much all areas of real estate. Who is doing it well? What does it mean for operators and real estate developers? Where to next?

Etienne van Unen – Partner, Director Food & Beverage, Co Head EMEA Retail, Colliers International

In conversation with:

Jack de Wet – Director of Development, Big Mamma Group

Jan-Willem Hilbron – Director, Albron

Rob Wickenden – Expansion Manager, Anheuser-Busch InBev

Yuandi de Herdt – Co-Founder, Yummy Popcorn

11:40 - 11:55

The new age consumer

Looking at the differences in consumer behaviour based on generations, and how this impacts the hospitality industry. Looking forward, Generation Z and their behaviours are suggesting that we are bracing for a revolutionary change to the landscape

Presentation by:

Dirk Bakker – Head of EMEA Hotels, Colliers International

11:55 - 12:20

Changing consumer preferences and behaviors are influencing concept creation and business models

How are the movements towards veganism, sustainability and experience manifesting themselves across sectors? How is the industry reacting? Where is the potential to lead the way and create meaningful change?

James Hacon – Managing Director, THINK Hospitality

In conversation with:

Emma Banks – VP Food & Beverage Strategy & Development EMEA, Hilton

Tommaso Chiabra – Co-Founder, Neat Burger

Inge van Weert – General Manager at QO Amsterdam

12:20 - 12:35

Restaurant with rooms

Have we come full circle almost with a movement towards developing properties which are food first and rooms second? A look at what properties are doing this well and how we can stay ahead of the fast moving trends.

Presentation by:

Jeremy Scarf – Co-Founder, Keane

12:35 - 13:00

The art of constant evolution

Sketch has established itself as one of the top dining destinations in the world for over 20 years. How have they created an institution that is so up to date with trends and social media that they have become the ‘most instragrammable restaurant’ in the world?

David Singleton – Partner, Socius Group

In conversation with:

Mourad Mazouz – Founder, Sketch London, 3*

13:00 - 13:05

Reinventing the daytime dining experience

Presentation by:

Nick Turner – Laura Ashley Hospitality Principal and MD of OM Group International

13:05 - 14:05


14:05 - 14:35

Chasing the stars

These renowned chefs examine what they see as the mark of excellence today and how this has developed overtime. How do you stand out in such a crowded marketplace where everyone is competing for the top position?

Lydia Forte – Group F&B Director, Rocco Forte Hotels

In conversation with:

Gaggan Anand – Internationally Acclaimed Chef (2*), Rebel & Rockstar

Chris Naylor – Executive Chef of Restaurant Vermeer (1*), NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace

Will Bowlby – Co-Founder & Head Chef, Kricket

14:35 - 14:55

Building a brand not just a restaurant

How do you create a brand that is stretchable and monetizable outside of the four walls of a restaurant?

Ron Simpson – Founder, The Avocado Show

In conversation with:

Frank de Ruwe – Creative Partner & Founder, Natwerk

Douwe Werkman – Founder, IQ Creative

14:55 - 15:20

FOUNDERS CHAT: the story of Gaggan Anand

An interview with Asia's culinary master, who has retained No.1 in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants for four years in a row (2014-2018).

Ramzy Abdul-Majeed – Founder & Managing Director, Whissle Hospitality Group

In conversation with:

Gaggan Anand – Internationally Acclaimed Chef (2*), Rebel & Rockstar

15:20 - 15:45

Is the pen mightier than the plate?

Exploring the power and politics of the food press and how it can make or break your restaurant establishments.

Harry McKinley – Writer, Editor and Hospitality Consultant

In conversation with:

Grace Dent – Restaurant Critic, The Guardian

15:45 - 16:10

Coffee break

16:10 - 16:30


Why has the Founder and ex-Chief Emotional Officer of AmRest shifted his attention towards food technology and where does his see the opportunity within this sector.

Mario C. Bauer – Co-Founder, Curtice Brothers; Co-Founder, White Space Partners; Brand Ambassador, AmRest

In conversation with:

Henry McGovern – Founder and Former Chief Emotional Officer, AmRest

16:15 - 16:45


The power of social media across your business

How do you harness social media to be a powerful tool rather than just another marketing channel? Where do influencers fit into the marketing mix and how can you leverage them to your advantage?

Georgina Woollams – Founder & Managing Director, Katch International

Nick Morss – Technical Delivery Manager, Olam

Amrik Sangha – Co-Founder, Ramusake

16:30 - 17:00

Dutch restaurant entrepreneurs

These chefs and restauranteurs are leading the culinary landscape and creating some of the most exciting concepts in Amsterdam.

Sven Sallaerts – Co-Founder, Younique Concepts

In conversation with:

Chong Chu – Co-Founder, Foodhallen

Wes Schreutelkamp – Founder, The Streetfood Club

Freek van Noortwijk – Co-Founder, The Breda Group

17:00 - 17:25

How has MasterChef changed the landscape?

A global phenomenon that has raised the profile of the chef as a profession. What do some of the previous winners have to say about their experiences and how has it launched them into the sector? Now the cameras have stopped rolling and they are building careers in the industry what do they think the industry need to do in order to attract more talent?

Duncan Fraser-Smith – Vice President, TFG, Food & Beverage

In conversation with:

Elena Duggan – Host, My Market Kitchen (MasterChef Winner 2016)

Shelina Permalloo – Founder, Lakaz Maman (MasterChef Winner 2012)

Simon Wood – Founder, WOOD Manchester (MasterChef Winner 2015)

17:25 - 17:55


A look at how Jeremy King has created and maintained some of London's most iconic restaurants, including Le Caprice, J. Sheekey, The Ivy and The Wolseley.

Michael Ellis – Chief Culinary Officer, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts

In conversation with:

Jeremy King OBE – Co-Founder & CEO, Corbin & King

17:55 - 18:00

Round up

James Hacon – Managing Director, THINK Hospitality

18:00 - 21:00

Networking evening reception at The Food Department


At the end of the first day of conference sessions, delegates are invited to the GRIF Networking Reception hosted by The Food Department.

In the magnificent Magna Plaza, right in the heart of the city's historic centre, founders and entrepreneurs meet on an exciting joint platform. Here, new innovative food creations are presented to an open-minded audience. Founders will meet alongside established gastronomic brands. The exchange between the community inspires new trends. The community supports each other and offers culinary newcomers as well as established gastronomes a unique opportunity.

"The Food Department" sets itself apart from other food hall concepts through the unique atmosphere created within their special locations, inviting to linger and relax. The combination of high quality street food, entertainment, experimentation and lifestyle is the DNA of the special CoFooding concept, which sets new standards in gastronomy.