Hostech took place on 30 January 2019. To be the first to hear about our next conference, please register your interest by sending an email to

2019 agenda

From 9.30am – Arrivals & registration

James Wallin, MCA MCA

10.00am – Welcome address

James Wallin, Editor, MCA

Simon Iddon, Hostech 2019  

10.10am – Keynote speech from Simon Iddon, former CIO at The Restaurant Group

As the former CIO of The Restaurant Group, and a consultant to some of the sector’s biggest names, Simon has a unique perspective on the power of data to make well-informed business decisions. His keynote speech will set out his vision of how joined up IT and technology functions can be transformative, while delving into some of the latest innovations being trialed in the sector, from wearable tech, to labour forecasting.

Lisa Bowen-Dawes, KFC KFC

10.40am – Digital integration in QSR

Lisa Bowen-Dawes, senior digital product owner, KFC has brought its digital platform in-house, launched a customer loyalty scheme, and is beginning to roll out a click & collect service across the UK estate. Lisa will share the challenges and opportunities of integrating digital functions into a quick service restaurant.

11.00am – If Amazon ran a restaurant group, how would it use data to improve guest experience?

This panel session will look into how the Amazon data-first approach can be used to improve the customer experience at restaurants.

Hosted by:

Peter Martin, CM&Co

Peter Martin, CM&Co


Jon Knight, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group Jamie's Italian

Jon Knight, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group

Gavin Adair, Rosa's Thai Rosa's Thai

Gavin Adair, Rosa’s Thai

Gary Goodman, Yumpingo Yumpingo

Gary Goodman, Yumpingo

11.30am – Break

Tom Weaver, CEO, Flyt Flyt

11.50am – Future-proofing: from AI to AR

What are the key technological advancements impacting the hospitality sector – and which ones should you be watching out for in the years to come? Tom Weaver, CEO, Flyt will give a rundown of everything operators need to know – from AI to AR.

Oliver Boardman, Fuller's Fullers

12.10pm – Digital innovation in a heritage pub operator

Oliver Boardman, head of digital and IT, Fuller’s will discuss how the 170-year old company is evolving to incorporate cutting-edge technology. The group has used technology to innovate both in terms of back of house efficiency and customer engagement. This has included rolling out the Fuse communication and training app, as well as evolving its CRM strategy and increasingly focusing on personalising communication with customers.

12.40pm – Lunch

Yousaf Shah, Data Therapy Data Therapy

1.50pm – Managing data on allergens

Displaying allergens on food labelling is a hot topic at the moment. Following the allergen-related death of a Pret customer, the eating out sector has pledged to learn from this tragedy. Yousaf Shah, managing director, Data Therapy will thus address how operators are managing data on allergens.

Dave Sayers, Microsoft, and Andy Caddy, Whitbread Microsoft & Whitbread

2.10pm – In discussion: Microsoft & Whitbread

Microsoft’s Dave Sayers will introduce Whitbread CTO Andy Caddy for a discussion about the digital journey at Whitbread and how, post the divestment of Costa, the company is planning to further invest in technology across its estate of pub/restaurants. He will also discuss learnings from Premier Inn’s digital relationship with customers and how they can relate to the wider eating and drinking out market. Caddy joined Whitbread last September and has more than 20 years’ experience in IT, having previously been CTO at easyJet and Virgin Active.

Nadia El Hadery, YFood Yfood

2.40pm – What next in Food Tech?

Food Tech has produced some of the most talked about start-ups of recent times, notably in delivery. With all eyes on what could come next, Nadia El Hadery, founder & CEO, YFood, a community for innovators, entrepreneurs and disrupters, will give her take on the latest developments in this dynamic space.

3.00pm – Break

BigDish, Inamo, Karma, New World Trading Company, The Alchemist  

3.20pm – Using technological innovation to improve the customer experience – hosted by Simon Iddon

Whether through consumer loyalty apps, dynamic pricing platforms or food waste solutions, industry leaders are turning to technology to give added value to digitally turned on consumers. Find out how New World Trading Company, The Alchemist and Inamo restaurant groups – as well as emerging tech companies Big Dish and Karma – are utilising tech-based solutions to solve age old problems.

Chloe Combi, Zed Zed

3.40pm – How to appeal to Gen-Z

Generation Z are the consumers of tomorrow – but how well do you understand them and their attitude to technology? Author, TV pundit and government advisor, Chloe Combi from specialist agency Zed will bust some of the myths around what emerging digital trends are most relevant to Gen-Z and what this group want to see from operators in future.

David Abrahamovitch, Grind Grind

4.00pm – Grind: Digital natives

David Abrahamovitch, CEO & founder, Grind began his career in tech, building web platform, and going on to open his debut coffee shop on London’s silicon roundabout. Known for its savvy social media, crowdfunding campaigns, and blending of coffee, cocktail, food and music, David will share the latest digital developments at Grind, as it brings its highly sought after model to travel hubs in partnership with SSP.

4.30pm – Close & networking drinks