European Foodservice Summit 2023
Think Tank and Congress for the Restaurant Industry, 2023
Driving Growth Through Optimism and Opportunities
The European Foodservice Summit is a one-of-a-kind conference for the international professional restaurant industry.
Tailored towards senior executives, it attracts around 250 participants from 20+ countries across Europe and beyond.
At the heart of the programme are facts and figures based on market research and analytics, professional insights, and operational learnings. In presentations and panel discussions, experts and leaders from within and without the realm of hospitality share first-hand experiences and learnings thus providing inspiration and thought-provoking impulses that are often the starting point of many lively conversations and discussions.
Participants cherish the uniquely intimate albeit highly professional atmosphere that allows exchange at eye level while also opening networking opportunities on a personal level.
Themed "Driving Growth Through Optimism and Opportunities," this year’s conference is set to be a pivotal event for discerning professionals seeking to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the foodservice industry.
Anchored around major industry topics such as international expansion, financing, ESG and digital disruption, the Summit aims to illuminate new avenues for growth. International thought leaders and industry experts will take the stage to discuss strategies and business opportunities in these areas, providing valuable insights and actionable takeaways for attendees. (see programme).
New – new – new!
Introducing two exciting new formats at the European Foodservice Summit 2023!
Join our Speed Networking session for meaningful connections and knowledge exchange among industry professionals. Explore the industry’s most pressing topics through short conversations with diverse participants.
Also, don't miss the transformative AI Session on "Artificial Intelligence meets Lean Management - Unlocking Operational Mastery", designed exclusively for restaurant operators. Dr. Theo Ackbarow of Nesto will provide insights into practical strategies for operational excellence in the AI era. Discover how Artificial Intelligence and lean principles can revolutionize restaurant operations while driving efficiency and growth.
Registration for these dynamic sessions will soon be available for registered EFSS participants!
ON STAGE BEFORE
Over the past decades, the EFSS stage has welcomed numerous esteemed industry players, including notable figures such as: Howard Schulz (then CEO Starbucks), Mario Federico (then CEO McDonald’s Italy), Kim Rhabek Hansen (then CEO & founder Sticks N’ Sushi), Robert Brozin (CEO Nando’s) or Rostislav Ordovsky-Tanaevsky Blanco (founder & president Rosinter), Jitse Groen (CEO Just Eat).
In 2023, the European Foodservice Summit will take place for the 24th time at the Lake Side in Zurich from September (19) 20-21.
Mario C. Bauer
Entrepreneur & Investor
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Mario, an entrepreneur, investor, and affectionately known as the "Teddy Bear," played a pivotal role in the global expansion of the fast-casual pasta and pizza chain, Vapiano. Under his supervision, Vapiano expanded its presence to 32 countries worldwide. In 2020, Mario, along with other esteemed entrepreneurs from the industry, demonstrated their belief in the brand by acquiring Vapiano during a challenging period of insolvency. Presently, Mario holds positions as a Board Member and Shareholder of Vapiano, as well as Dean & David. Furthermore, he is the co-founder and CEO of Curtice Brothers Natural Sauces and co-founded White Space Partners International.
CEO, Marugame Udon
Director, FoodService Instituut Nederland
Inga Blokker is the director of the FoodService Insituut Nederland (FSIN) and the closely connected Food Research Company. It is run as a non-profit association with a membership that covers the entire food chain, both in the food retail and foodservice sectors. FSIN publishes reports of numerous studies conducted by The Food Research Company.
Founder & Chairperson, Big Chefs
Gamze Cizreli is a prominent figure in the Turkish hospitality industry. With a background in business
administration and a passion for gastronomy, Gamze has created numerous successful brands,
including the renowned BigChefs Cafe Brasserie. Under her leadership, BigChefs has expanded to 85
locations across eight countries, employing over 4,500 people. Recognized for her entrepreneurial
achievements, Gamze has received prestigious awards and accolades, including being named
"Woman Entrepreneur of Turkey" multiple times. A mother of two, she is also actively involved in
community services and sustainable development goals. Recently, Forbes recognized Gamze as one
of the influential "50 Over 50 Women" in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (EMEA).
Partner Manager Swiss Miles & More, Swisscard
Oli manages the co-brand credit card partnerships between Swisscard and Swiss Miles & More as well as Poinz Swiss Loyalty. Building on over 15 years of experience with airlines, hotels and retailers, Oli has a deep understanding of the global loyalty industry. He has worked for program operators as
well as marketing agencies on five continents (not to mention earned and redeemed millions of miles as an avid mileage junkie). He spent nine years with global loyalty company Aimia in Montréal, Canada as a strategist and as the Key Account Manager for Air Canada at the Aeroplan program.
Following his return to Switzerland, Oli was the Head of Loyalty Programs for credit card provider Bonuscard and in summer 2022 joined Swisscard.
Secretary General, Serving Europe
Arnaud is a public affairs professional who has been the main coordinator of
Serving Europe, the branded food and beverage service chains association,
since February 2018. He was then officially appointed as the Secretary
General of the Association in June 2021. In this role, Arnaud advises branded
chains on future EU regulatory changes and ensures their voices are heard in
areas that greatly impact the sector such as sustainable food and sourcing,
packaging transition, nutrition and diets, etc. Prior to joining Serving Europe,
Arnaud acted as an independent lawyer in the field of commercial litigation. A
Belgian national, Arnaud holds a Masters in private law from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Partner & Foodservice Lead, McWin Capital Partners
Harry is a Partner at McWin and joined the firm in October 2022. He lead’s the company’s foodservice vertical and is a member of the firm’s management team and Investment Committee. Prior to joining McWin, Harry worked in investment banking for 16 years, including positions at Lehman Brothers and Nomura. For the past 10 years he led Nomura’s food service and leisure investment banking practice in Europe. He has broad product expertise across M&A advisory, financing advisory and principal lending. He advised a number of high-profile public and private companies as well as private equity firms and family offices. As part of this he led several of the largest transactions in the European foodservice sector and in doing so established a global network of relationships.
Today the CEO of Intertek Group, André Lacroix brings to the table a wealth of experience and leadership know-how earned during over 25 years in global organizations in hospitality as well as other industries. As the president of Burger King International (2001-2003), he spearheaded a global expansion strategy that saw the company's footprint grow to cover over 3,000 sites in 55 countries, while improving product quality and customer service. He also served as Chairman and CEO of Euro Disney, which he successfully led through a major financial restructuring. With his strong track record of delivering long-term growth strategies and shareholder value, André Lacroix is sure to offer a compelling insight into the challenges and opportunities facing the hospitality industry today.
Co-founder, Big Mamma Group
Victor Lugger is the co-founder of Big Mamma Group, with currently 23 trattorias in France, UK, Spain and Germany including La Felicità (biggest Food Market in Europe). Big Mamma was the first restaurant group in Europe to gain the B-Corp status in 2018 and achieved the highest rating for a European hospitality group in 2023.Victor is also the CEO of Sunday, the checkout and pay-at-table solution for hospitality present in restaurants in the US, UK and France and now launching in Germany.
Founder & CEO, itsu
The (co-)founder of Pret A Manger and itsu, Julian Metcalfe is a distinguished figure in the hospitality industry, who has inspired leaders across Europe. After contributing to Pret A Manger's global success, Julian established the healthy fast food chain itsu in 1997. Evolving from sushi-focused menus to hot foods and branded retail products, itsu has been a trailblazer in testing new technologies, revolutionizing both front- and back-of-house operations. With over 100 restaurants across the UK, Belgium and France, itsu continues expanding in Europe through strategic partnerships.
CEO, Tortilla Mexican Grill
Richard joined Tortilla Mexican Grill as Managing Director in 2014 and subsequently became CEO In January 2019. Richard has over 30 years’ experience in the food sector. After starting his career in the US, Richard held roles at TGI Fridays and Rainforest Café. He joined Loch Fyne Restaurants’ original management team as Operations Director in 1999, becoming Managing Director in 2005. He oversaw the sale of the business to Greene King in 2011. Richard then joined Daylesford Organic in 2011 where he oversaw the Company’s London operations.
Christopher C. Muller
Courtesy Professor, FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Chris Muller is a leading academic expert in the field of restaurant management. His research has focused on multi-unit organizations, development and growth, and the training of multi-unit managers and leaders. He has held positions at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, UCF’s Rosen College, Boston University, and is currently Courtesy Professor of Executive Education at FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality. He is an author and has lectured around the globe.
Co-founder & Managing Director, Udon
Jordi Pascual is the co-founder and CEO of Udon Asian Food with currently more than 70 restaurants in five countries serving over 8,000 customers every day. Following a Bachelor in Business Administration and Management in Barcelona, Jordi moved to Gent, Belgium, in 1999 to work as a Sales Engineer for Honda Europe Logistics NV. His family business‘s close ties to Japan and his love of the Japanese cuisine were the spark that caused him to return to Barcelona three years later to start the first Udon restaurant together with his partner Jordi Vidal. The first unit opened in 2004.
Industry Advisor Foodservice Europe, Circana
Jochen Pinsker has been tracking and analyzing European foodservice and consumer behavior trends for over 25 years. As Industry Advisor Foodservice Europe at Circana (formerly npdgroup) he is also instrumental in developing new services and analysis capabilities for the industry in Europe and the Middle East. In his former position as Senior Vice President Foodservice Europe, he played a significant role in expanding the foodservice business from two European countries in 1998 to nine countries today. Jochen advises some of the largest restaurant operators and manufacturers across Europe.
Co-founder, Younique Concepts
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The co-founder of Younique Concepts (position: Future Growth), Sven has developed nine hospitality concepts which are owned, partially owned or managed by him and the entire team of Younique Concepts. Four new outlets are in the pipeline, besides the company’s focus is on the international expansion of the very successful experiential seafood-brand Pesca - which now holds two locations in the Netherlands. Younique Concepts stands out for their revolutionary HR-model, innovative guest experiences and bold marketing approach. Sven studied Hospitality Management and Leadership in Maastricht, Barcelona and Berkely.
China expert, TV journalist, Author
Frank Sieren is a leading German China expert, columnist for the business newspaper Handelsblatt, and bestselling author. With over two decades living in Beijing, he's penned influential books, sparking debates on Asia. Sieren's documentaries (ARD / ZDF) and extensive interviews with leading Chinese politicians and business figures have established him as an authoritative voice on China's evolving landscape. He is co-founder of the Media Forum China.
Dr. Stefan Tewes
Founder & CEO, Coffee Fellows
Stefan Tewes is the founder and CEO of Coffee Fellows. The coffee shop concept was founded in Munich in 1999 and has now been at the top of the German coffee shop market for several years. The franchise company operates 240 stores in the DACH region and other countries like Bulgaria, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Egypt and Mongolia. The next major milestone is planned for June 2023, when the company will enter the U.S. market.
Tewes, who holds a doctorate in business administration, worked as a management consultant before founding the company.
CFE, Whitespace Partners
Rebecca is a partner and the Head of International Expansion and Franchising Advisory at WhiteSpace Partners, working with European and international foodservice brands on the development and execution of their expansion and growth strategies across EMEA. She has spent her career in franchising, on both the franchisee side and the franchisor side, having worked for and developed foodservice brands in the Americas, Middle East and Europe. Over the last 10 years, she has resided in the Middle East and then Europe leading the franchise development and international growth for Dubai-based house of brands, Awj Investments, followed by U.S. restaurant group, Darden Restaurants, until joining WhiteSpace Partners in 2020. Rebecca is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) and regularly contributes to the industry as a guest author, speaker and mentor.
Head of Franchise, Marugame Udon
As Franchise Director for Marugame Udon Europe, Judd is responsible for the growth of Japan’s number one Udon & Tempura brand in the UK & Europe. He has extensive franchise experience, as both franchisor and franchisee, having previously held leadership positions with Boparan Restaurant Group (Slim Chickens, Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen), Costa Coffee and Starbucks.
Executive Editor, European foodservice media
Katrin Wissmann is the Executive Editor of european foodservice media and a long-standing editor of the German B-2-2 journal foodservice. She studied journalism and American Studies in Mainz (Germany), Pamplona (Spain) and in Middlebury, VT, (USA). After gaining initial professional experience in print, radio and television, she joined the editorial teams of foodservice and foodservice Europe & Middle East in 2006. Before her current position, which includes content planning and speaker coordination of the European Foodservice Summit, Katrin was Executive Editor of the international trade journal foodservice Europe & Middle East.
Chair, Tortilla Mexican Grill
Emma has extensive experience at Board level in multi-site leisure businesses. She is currently a non-executive director for The Gym Group plc and has been on the company’s Board since its IPO in 2016. Her hospitality experience includes being the CEO of Wagamama from December 2018 to June 2021, during which time she navigated the acquisition by TRG plc and the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to this she was Wagamama’s Chief Growth Officer and before that was Group Marketing Director for PizzaExpress. Emma is trained as a global marketer and has previously held Global Marketing Director roles at Merlin Entertainments and Unilever.
GET-TOGETHER – Pre-Conference Day
Tuesday, 19 September 2023, from 20.00
Located in: GLOBUS Zurich Warenhaus
Schweizergasse 11, 8001 Zurich
CONFERENCE DAY 1
Wednesday, 20 September 2023
Speed Networking Session "Face 2 Face"
Coffee & co.
Welcome, Start of the Conference
André Lacroix, Intertek
From the Outside In
– A Visionary Leader Looks at the Industry
– Assessing Current Challenges & Future Perspectives
Katrin Wißmann, european foodservice media
Europe’s Top 99 restaurant operators
– New Ranking, New Players, New Analysis
– Who grew? How fast? Why?
AI Session w/ Dr. Theo Ackbarow, Nesto (restaurant operators only)
Artificial Intelligence meets Lean Management - Unlocking Operational Mastery
Chances and challenges of international expansion
Rebecca Viani, Whitespace Partners
A Decade of Cross Border Restaurant Development
– Analysis and Learnings from Pioneering Brands
– Critical Success Factors for New Market Entry and Growth
Three powerful F&B brands that have already taken the leap across boarders share first-hand experiences, insights and learnings about highlights and hardships in the expansion process.
Judd Williams, Marugame Udon
Japan to UK
Gamze Cizreli, Big Chefs
Turkey to Europe
Dr. Stefan Tewes, Coffee Fellows
Germany to USA
Richard Morris & Emma Woods, Tortilla
From Private To Public To Future
– Strategic Insights into Tortilla’s Growth Strategy
– Benefits and Challenges of Becoming a Public Restaurant Chain
Harry Goss, McWin Partners
Everyone Wants Money
– Financing and Deal Making: Attracting Future Investment
– What Solution Is Best for Your Situation?
Inga Blokker, FoodService Instituut Nederland
Experts’ Vision Board: Navigating Inflation
– A Stress Test for Restaurants and Suppliers
– Examining the Impact of Soaring Costs in the Restaurant Industry
– Exclusive Survey Results
Oliver Dervey, Swisscard
Loyalty Programmes: Finding the Perfect Fit
– Ensuring Relevance: Build One or Join One?
– Using Data Wisely to Drive Engagement and ROI
– Avoiding Common Pitfalls
DINNER – Evening event
Located in: Zoo Zurich
Rolf Balsiger Strasse
CONFERENCE DAY 2
Thursday, 21 September 2023
7.30 – 9.00
Coffee & co.
Welcome, Start of the Conference
Jochen Pinsker, Circana
Consumer Trends in Hospitality: The Shifting Landcape
– Understanding Changes in Going Out and Buying Behaviour
– Navigating Consumer Preferences for Sustainability and New Technologies
Sven Sallaerts, Pesca
The Power of Purpose and Participation
– Gen Z Leadership – How to Motivate and Retain the Next Generation
– Three Pillars for a New Restaurant Business Model
Arnaud Dufour, Serving Europe
Coming to terms with EU legislation
– A Critical Perspective on the European Green Deal
– Packaging Regulations, Green Claims and Other Legal Obligations
Jordi Pascual, Udon
A Unified Business Approach to ESG
– The Possibilities of Strategic Sustainability
– Franchise Accountability, Supplier Partnerships, Company Policy
Victor Lugger, Big Mamma Group
The No-Nonsense Truth About Being a B-Corp
– Pursuing Sustainability as a Restaurant Group
– Balancing Purpose and Profit
Julian Metcalfe, itsu
An Innovator’s Vision for Growth
– RestaurantTech: Everywhere All At Once
– The New Technology Frontier
– Cutting-Edge Concepts
– AI, Robotics, Autonomous Kitchens, Customer Interface …
Frank Sieren, China expert, TV journalist, author
China, The Innovative World Power
– China Is Taking Big Leaps Towards Defining the Future
– Is the West in Danger of Being Left Behind?
Lunch & Goodbye
Please note: This programme is subject to change.
Changes to the programme
The programme is subject to change. Should the event fail to take place, fees will be refunded. Further claims are ruled out.
Cancellations must reach us by 25 August 2023. After this deadline and until 5 whole working days prior to the beginning of the conference, participants will be charged 75% of the fee. The full amount is charged for cancellations thereafter. Naturally, a substitute participant will be welcome.
Lake Side can be reached from Zurich main station by tram no. 4, stop Fröhlichstrasse, 5 minutes-walk to the venue. From the airport, take S6 or S16 train, stop Tiefenbrunnen, 5 minutes-walk to the venue. Hotel guests: please ask your reception.
We will send you a voucher for free transport within Zurich city. Voucher is valid all 3 days.
Special rates apply at the following hotels:
Hotel Seegarten (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hotel Opera (email@example.com)
Hotel Ambassador (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Alma Hotel (email@example.com)
Ameron au Lac (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To benefit from special rates, please refer to the code: EFSS 2023
There are only a few limited parking spaces available.
Located in: GLOBUS Zurich Warenhaus
Dinner – Evening event
Located in: Zoo Zurich
Rolf Balsiger Strasse
Full price: CHF 2600
All fees have to be paid in advance. Payment by credit card only. Includes documentation, extensive download area, all meals, refreshments, transfers, get-together and dinner party (VAT incl.).
(cancellable free of charge until 18.8.2023)
About the European Foodservice Summit
The Summit is the number one European platform for the restaurant industry. Issues that are discussed are trendsetting and on tomorrow’s agenda. Together with Boston University and FoodsService Europe & Middle East, the GDI has created a think tank to analyze the most important changes in the industry as well as an annual forum that takes place in September each year. Participants are industry leaders who shape the European restaurant landscape for the future.
List of participants
You can find the list of participants here.
Pictures will be published here shortly after the Summit.
About the European Foodservice Summit
The Summit is the number one European platform for the restaurant industry. Issues that are discussed are trendsetting and on tomorrow’s agenda. Together with Boston University and FoodService Europe & Middle East, the GDI has created a think tank to analyze the most important changes in the industry as well as an annual forum that takes place in September each year. Participants are industry leaders who shape the European restaurant landscape for the future.
Date & Time
September 19, 2023
September 21, 2023