The Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF), running for five consecutive years, will be held in Europe for the first time. Providing a unique meeting place, GRIF 2019 is a platform for restaurant innovators looking to raise capital, internationalize their brand, expand their offering or find new partners.
Need to know
The event, the only one of its kind dedicated to the restaurant investment community, allows the participants to harness opportunities of a USD 3.0 trillion industry, by bringing together 350 investors, owners, franchisors and senior hospitality professionals. There will also be focused networking opportunities through online platforms, roundtables, culinary receptions and sponsor exhibitions. Hosted by NH Hotel Group at the NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam, from February 25 – 27, 2019, this year’s theme will be focusing on the evolution, disruption and invention of the ever-changing global restaurant industry.
“This year’s program has a stellar line-up of speakers who will give delegates the critical insights they need to help drive business through the current climate,” said Jennifer Pettinger-Haines, Co-Founder, GRIF and Managing Director, Middle East, Bench Events. “We expect much of the debate at GRIF to be underpinned by the theme of sustainability and the importance of ‘profit with purpose’. This is why we invited industry legend Raymond Blanc to deliver a one on one keynote interview focusing on his work as the President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA),” Pettinger-Haines added.
Commenting on the matter ahead of the event, Chef Blanc said, “Sustainability forces us to ask the questions, what is modern luxury? What is modern food? What does the modern consumer want and how do we create a sustainable business that will work in the future?”
He was among the first to adopt environmentally sound principles in his restaurants, understanding keenly the role sustainability can play in shaping operations. Concluding, Blanc explained that his success has never been focused on fashion, rather on mixing strongly-rooted traditions with modernity and constant reinvention. But most of all, it is based on thinking about luxury in an inclusive and responsible way. Explaining he said, “We’ve been conditioned to want cheap, processed food and this has huge consequences on our industry and the health of the nation. Today’s consumer is more responsible and aware that we cannot go on subsidizing food and agriculture.”
Another highly-anticipated topic will be innovating to cater to the new wave conscious consumption. “This year, it no longer is enough to create beautiful, high-quality products, in order to connect with your consumers. It’s time that businesses pay as much attention to their global environmental impact as to what they sell,” said Nathalie Streng, Founder of The Cold Pressed Juicery. This series will feature a wave of innovators who are creating products to match consumers growing preferences and resulting industry needs.
Fair kitchens movement
Globally, one in four chefs have experienced physical abuse. 74% of chefs report feeling sleep deprived to the point of exhaustion. As a result, more than half have suffered depression. It’s no wonder that 60% of young chefs feel little to no possibility of career progression.
Research by Unilever Food Solutions reveals a culture of daily deprivations, which is having a serious impact on chefs’ wellbeing. This is driving the industry to lose talent. #FairKitchens is a movement to inspire a new culture where staff happiness is as important as diner satisfaction. Through creating solutions that enable restaurants and chains to adopt this way of working, the movement is set to transform the industry and deliver more successful kitchens, with higher staff retention, increased diner loyalty and engaged guests who make a positive, conscious choice to eat there because they appreciate its values.Add to Favorites