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23 Jun 2016

“An amazing show” – new Commercial Kitchen show hailed a big success

“An amazing show” – new Commercial Kitchen show hailed a big success

Big name catering equipment buyers, specifiers, distributors, and consultants from across the UK were out in force at the NEC Birmingham on 7-8 June – checking out the latest new products and services on offer at Commercial Kitchen. 

The UK's first trade show designed to accommodate all of the many vertical sectors served by the commercial kitchen industry, Commercial Kitchen delivered on its promise to be the dedicated event that the dynamic catering equipment market had been waiting for. 

Offering its visitors the opportunity to meet up with existing and potential suppliers, to network, discover new products, enjoy expert Keynotes and panel discussions, and keep up with changing market trends, the first edition of Commercial Kitchen attracted 1,723 attendees and has been hailed as a significant and overwhelming success by its organiser, Diversified Communications UK. 

More importantly, feedback from across the show floor has been full of praise for the launch and the high quality of visitors in attendance; with over one in three visitors citing a corporate spend of over £500k (10% reported over £5million).

“It's an amazing show and I'm sure it's going to get bigger and bigger as the years go on.  The quality of the equipment here is phenomenal,â€' says celebrity chef and restauranteur Theo Randall.

“As someone who wants the best equipment for our teams and customers, Commercial Kitchen was a good and very relevant show for me.  I look forward to attending again and watching this important event grow over the coming years,â€' says Dirk Wissmann, senior equipment buyer at Pret A Manger.

“Great show, I really enjoyed it.  It is always important to keep up-to-date with industry improvements and innovations.  Commercial Kitchen was a compact and focused show, and I was able to network with some new and innovative suppliers for the future roll out of our restaurants,â€' says Jon Parry, construction manager at YO! Sushi.

“I enjoyed seeing what the Commercial Kitchen show had to offer, and meeting with various supply partners and potential new ones – it's been a long time coming, a show that focuses on the kitchen or back of house, and it was a great opportunity to focus on many differing aspects of the ‘engine room' of our various food businesses,â€' says Chez Gawen, technical manager at Pizza Hut, Yum Restaurants International.

Adam Mason, director general of CEDA, the show's major association partner was also full of praise for the show's launch edition: "Commercial Kitchen proved to be a very rewarding partnership for CEDA, in terms of business leads for our members and partners.  We took enquiries from the end-user market in the UK and also for several international ventures targeting the UK and overseas.  The CEDA Design Gallery, featuring the overall winners from our 2016 Grand Prix Awards, was also real hit with many of the visitors.  

“CEDA was proud to be directly involved in the well-received seminars and we are already looking forward to building on our great relationship with the show's organisers to support the development of an even stronger event in 2017," he says.

The show's aisles were buzzing with a ‘who's who' of the sector, including many of the UK's biggest foodservice, hospitality and leisure businesses.  Among them were Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, Azzurri Group, TGI Friday's, wagamama, YO! Sushi, JD Wetherspoon, Admiral Taverns, Fuller's, Marston's, Geronimo Inns, Bill's Restaurants, Hilton, Premier Inn, Travelodge, Bourne Leisure (Haven, Butlins and Warner Leisure Hotels), Searcys, Pret A Manger, Parkwood Leisure, Redcomb Pubs, Hall & Woodhouse, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, Wahaca, Stonegate Pub Company, Luxury Family Hotels, Costa Coffee, and SSP Group. 

Leading contract caterers were also there in force from Compass, Sodexo, WSH (BaxterStorey, Caterlink and Holroyd Howe), and Gather & Gather – plus key buyers from supermarkets (Waitrose, Tesco, and Sainsbury's), universities, schools, hospitals, care homes, local authorities, and quality independent operators.

Visiting distributors included C&C Catering Equipment, Alliance, Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment, Brakes Catering Equipment, Bidvest Foodservice, Airedale Group, ScoMac Catering Equipment, Modo-CKD, Tailor Made CES, Direct Kitchen Equipment, Certa Catering Equipment Supply, BETTAquip, and YCE Catering Equipment.

“What makes Commercial Kitchen so unique is that it brings together operators from all types of kitchens, allowing everyone to learn from each other and to see the full spectrum of products available for all commercial kitchens, whatever their size or need,â€' says group event director Chris Brazier.  “From our speakers and exhibitors to the visitors themselves – the who's who of the commercial kitchen industry were at the show doing business. 

“Big thanks really must go to all our exhibitors and partners who have supported the launch of Commercial Kitchen right from the start.  We knew that expectations were going to be high – particularly because there's been nothing quite like it before.  But the way it has been so positively received has been truly amazing. 

We now have an exceptional foundation from which to grow and develop over the coming years,â€' he says. 

Looking ahead to 2017, over 50% of the show's 80 exhibiting companies have already rebooked (many have already requested to increase the size of their stands).  In addition, there has been significant interest from a raft of new companies ensuring that exhibition space will be expanded for next year.

Big name seminars

The inaugural seminar line-up included celebrity chef Theo Randall, Chris Knights (group executive chef at Young's and Geronimo Pubs), Paul Dickinson (head of food at Fuller's Managed Inns), Simon Lee (head of F&B at Staycity Serviced Apartments), Dirk Wissmann (senior equipment manager at Pret A Manger), Peter Woods (exec head chef at The Corinthia London), Myles Bremner (ex-director at School Food Plan and CEO of Bremner Consulting), Dominic Burbridge (associate director at The Carbon Trust), Philip Shelley (national chair of the Hospital Caterers Association), Radford Chancellor FCSI (director of Radford Chancellor), and Andrew Seymour and Clare Nicholls (the editors of Foodservice Equipment Journal and Catering Insight respectively).

Innovation Challenge Awards 2016

Designed to promote and celebrate the best new equipment and technology innovations over the last twelve months, the Innovation Challenge Live saw nine finalists (as voted for by visitors to the show on opening day) pitch their ideas to a panel of industry judges on Wednesday 8 June.  The panel included Peter Farrell, sales director at C&C Catering Equipment; Philip Shelley, national chairman of The Hospital Caterers Association; and Andrew Seymour, editorial director of Foodservice Equipment Journal.

The Commercial Kitchen Innovation Challenge Award results:


  • The FRIMA 112L (FRIMA UK)
  • Gram Superior Plus Refrigeration (Hoshizaki Gram)
  • Merrychef eikon e2s (Manitowoc Foodservice)
  • Synergy Grill (Synergy Grill)


  • Ascentia F1 Oven (Ascentia Foodservice Equipment)
  • New Covent Garden Soup Server (R H Hall Foodservice Solutions)


  • Waste Cooking Oil Tank (Bensons Products/Frontline International)
  • Pro Auction Refit (Pro Auction)
  • Microsave Cavity Protection System (Regale Microwave Ovens)

Further information about all participating Innovation Challenge entries is available on the show's website.

Save the date for 2017

Commercial Kitchen returns to the NEC Birmingham on 6-7 June 2017.  For further information, and the latest show news, please visit



Media enquiries & photography requests to:
Emma-Louise Jones, Head of PR
t: +44 (0)1273 645134

Exhibitor enquiries to:
Chris Brazier, Group Event Director
t: +44 (0)1273 645123

Simon Watkins, Sales Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645155


High res show images:

Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough and Nailsworth.  Diversified UK's event portfolio includes Commercial Kitchen; lunch!; Casual Dining; Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards; Natural Food Show at Natural & Organic Products Europe; Natural and Organic Awards; Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö, Sweden (co–located with Natural Products Scandinavia); camexpo; office*; Accountex; SITS – The Service Desk & IT Support Show; British Tourism & Travel Show; GEO Business; Capturing Reality; Ocean Business; MARELEC Marine Electromagnetics conference; Euro Bus Expo; Coach & Bus Live; The Route One Operator Excellence Awards; and National Coach Tourism Awards.  For more information, visit:

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company providing market access, education and information through global, national and regional face–to–face events, digital and print publications and television stations.  Diversified serves a number of industries including: seafood, food service, natural and organic, healthcare, commercial marine, and business management.  Based in Portland, Maine, USA, Diversified employs over 850 staff, across eight divisions in seven countries.  For more information, visit: