The next Food to go Conference will be taking place on 5 February 2020 at the Ham Yard Hotel, London. To be the first to hear about our 2020 programme, please register your interest by sending an email to

2019 agenda

From 9.30am – Arrivals & registration

Georgi Gyton, Deputy Editor, MCA  

10.00am – Welcome address

Georgi Gyton, deputy editor, MCA

Ian Dunstall, Dunstall Brand Marketing Ltd  

10.05am – What makes a successful food to go concept?

Branding expert Ian Dunstall will explore the core characteristics for a successful food to go concept and give his view on the strongest propositions in the market, as well as charting how some have lost their way.

John Diviney, CEO, Welcome Break Welcome Break

10.25am – Food to go offerings in forecourts

John Diviney, CEO, Welcome Break, will discuss Applegreen’s food-to-go offering, both across the existing forecourt business, and its evolution following the acquisition of motorway services operator Welcome Break. He will address the growth it is seeing from the segment, the brands that operate within the estate, and how the relationship works.

Andrew Stephen, Sustainable Restaurant Association Sustainable Restaurant Association

10.45am – Addressing sustainability concerns

Andrew Stephen, CEO, Sustainable Restaurant Association, will be speaking about how food-to-go operators can respond to consumer demand for more sustainable practices, including a reduction in single-use plastics and meat.

11.05am – Break

Glenn Edwards, LEON Leon

11.30am – Learnings from Leon’s expansion in the US

Glenn Edwards, managing director (USA), LEON, will share the story of LEON’s expansion into the US, incorporating the differing trends in the US food to go market compared to the UK, what lessons Leon has learnt so far, and future plans for growth.

11.45am – Industry panel

Leading industry figures will discuss the current issues affecting food to go, including delivery, the demand for convenience and the ever-changing world of technology, and look ahead to what could shape the sector over the next 12 months and beyond.

Mark Lilley, Abokado Abokado

Mark Lilley, founder and CEO, Abokado

Jon Lake, Chopstix Chopstix

Jon Lake, managing director, Chopstix Group

Paul Hopper, HOP Vietnamese HOP Vietnamese

Paul Hopper, founder, HOP Vietnamese

Andy Hulbert, Warren's Bakery Warren's Bakery

Andy Hulbert, head of corporate development – franchise, Warren’s Bakery


Tim Smith, Pret Pret A Manger

12.15pm – Insights from allergen labelling trials at Pret A Manger

Tim Smith, senior advisor at Pret A Manger, as well as former CEO of the Food Standards Agency and group quality director at Tesco, will be speaking about the ingredient labelling trials and food safety review he recently initiated at Pret A Manger. He will discuss the insights gained from the pilot programme, and what the wider industry and government can learn from the findings.

Jamie Cartwright, Charles Russell Speechlys Charles Russell Speechlys

12.35pm – The challenges of allergen labelling

Jamie Cartwright, Charles Russell Speechlys, will discuss the challenges presented by allergen labelling requirements and where the public debate around the issue is likely to go next.

12.55pm – Lunch

Jill Livesey, HIM and MCA Insights HIM & MCA Insights

1.55pm – How food to go consumers make purchasing decisions

Jill Livesey, managing director, HIM and MCA Insights, will reveal the science of how prospective consumers’ eyes are drawn to certain products and how food to go brands can maximise the very brief window in which they make a decision on where and what to purchase. She will also share exclusive insight from the MCA & HIM Food To Go Market Report 2019, which is available to order.

Richard Hodgson, Yo Sushi YO! Sushi

2.10pm – YO! Sushi’s global ascendancy

Richard Hodgson, CEO, YO! Sushi, will address the evolution of the company into a global multi-brand operator.

2.30pm – Concepts to watch

Hear from the founders of up-and-coming food to go concepts MCA believe will shape the market in years to come. They will discuss their journey so far, what makes them different and their future growth plans:

Celia Farrar, Founder, Polu Poke Polu Poke

Celia Farrar, founder, Polu Poke, the Hawaiian Pokē bowls concept

Neelofar Khan, Zabardast Zabardast

Neelofar Khan, co-founder, Zabardast, the indian wrap operator

Adria Wu, Maple&Co Maple&Co

Adria Wu, founder, Maple & Co, a London-based healthy eating concept


3.00pm – Break

Eric Dzwonczyk, AlixPartners AlixPartners

3.20pm – Food to go stateside

Eric Dzwonczyk, managing director New York, AlixPartners US office, will explore the emerging trends and operators in food to go Stateside and what parallels can be drawn for the UK market.

Andrew Walker, EAT EAT

3.40pm – EAT.’s journey for success

Andrew Walker, CEO, EAT., will talk about the turnaround of EAT under his stewardship, incorporating the challenges, opportunities and changes he has implemented to drive future success.

4.00pm – Close & networking drinks


Order your copy of the Food to go Market Report 2019

Food to go market report 2019 - MCA & HIMThe 2019 edition of the “UK Food-to-go market report” from MCA gives quality market intelligence to operators and suppliers seeking to advance their position in the food to go market. It dives deep into consumer behaviour changes, product trends, the competitive landscape and market growth drivers. For pricing information or to order a copy, please call 020 7611 0405 or email

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