Pizza Pilgrims’ co-founder Thom Elliott, New World Trading Company’s chief operating officer Natasha Waterfield and UKHospitality’s Kate Nicholls will join MCA’s special people panel at the Restaurant Conference on 3 November.

The restaurant sector is facing a staffing crisis like no other due to the effects of the pandemic and Brexit; but it’s also been said that hospitality has an image problem when it comes to recruitment.

The panel discuss how operators are attracting and retaining staff through a strong company culture and frequent training, how we can encourage young people to view hospitality as an employer of choice, and how the competition for staff is driving up wages

Also confirmed for the event is an exclusive insight session from Lumina Intelligence’s senior insight manager, Katie Prowse. She will be sharing the latest data from from Lumina’s Eating & Drinking Out Panel, giving an update on restaurant recovery, with forecats to 2024, market drivers and inhibitors on the horizon and the latest consumer attitudes, behaviours and intentions.

Taking place at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square on Wednesday 3 November, the annual sell-out conference returns for its first live event since 2019, and will see sector leaders coming together network, share vision and strategy, and digest the current dynamics of the sector through a day of keynote speeches, insight presentation, panel discussions and Q&As.

Also speaking at the event will be Paula Mackenzie, KFC UK & Ireland’s managing director; John Eckbert, CEO Five Guys, Minister Paul Scully, Jeremy King, CEO, Corbin & King; AlixPartners’ MD hospitality and leisure Graeme Smith, and Karl Chessell, director for hospitality operators and food, EMEA at CGA.

Full agenda now available! To find out more and book places click here, or email Laura Tudor at