GRIF 2019 makes milestone move to Amsterdam for sixth edition

 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 


The Global Restaurant Investment Forum 2019 (GRIF), the annual meeting place for the international restaurant investment community organised by Bench Events, has partnered with NH Hotel Group to host its sixth edition, being held for the first time in Amsterdam.




GRIF, which will be held from 25-27 February 2019 at the NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, will bring together more than 350 investors, owners, franchisors and hospitality leaders to discuss the themes of evolution, disruption and invention in the restaurant industry.




The milestone move to Amsterdam, Europe’s rapidly evolving food-lovers’ metropolis with an F&B sector worth more than 61 billion euro, according to GRIF Platinum sponsor Colliers, brings new markets, new speakersand new concepts to GRIF, with a three-day programme that will deliver inspiration, insight and opportunities to restaurant investors.




Jennifer Pettinger-Haines, Co-Founder, GRIF and Managing Director – Middle East, Bench Events, said:“When industry fundamentals are changing, growth drivers are unpredictable, investment models are unreliable, customer forecasts are increasingly inaccurate – then it’s time to gather and discuss our evolution.




“The GRIF 2019 programme is designed to give you the critical insight you need to drive your business, to evolve, to invent, to disrupt through the current climate.




“We will discuss the future of F&B in retail, analyse the progression of hotel dining, and unveil how ‘eatertainment’ is changing the landscape, then dive into the evolution of experience, sustainability, competitive socialising and new investor trends,” said Pettinger-Haines.




The transformational role of F&B in the changing face of retail is an issue that transcends global regions, from Europe and the Middle East to Asia and the US. In The Netherlands, Colliers reports that it’s the fastest riser in the retail market, with nearly 139,000 square metres added in 2018 alone.




Etienne van Unen, Partner, Director Retail, Head EMA Retail, Colliers International, said: “F&B will be the deciding factor in the success of shopping areas. It is no longer a value add to the retail offer but rather the reason why people decide to go to a shopping area.”




Stefan Breg, Group Strategy Director, Keane, who will give a presentation on global restaurant trends, added: “We will explore how demand is evolving from the young to millennials, gen x and y to baby boomers across the four continents that we work in. We will look at the thinking behind malls, master developers and large restaurant hotel groups and how ‘science’ is being used to shape what they do,” said Breg.




New models of hotel dining are also expected to be a hot topic at GRIF, as is the opportunity for growth and creativity in the restaurant business via partnerships.




Maarten Markus, Managing Director Northern Europe, NH Hotel Group, commented: “At NH Hotel Group, we’re always looking for fruitful cooperation opportunities with investors and partnerships with top chefs in order to provide our guests with the highest service and quality possible. We have facilitated partnerships for innovative collaborations that would otherwise be challenging to set up and put in motion.




“Next to that, fostering talent in gastronomy is of great importance to us,” continued Markus. “We support gastronomic talent through agreements with gastronomy schools or institutions and also by being able to identify blooming internal talent and giving them opportunities to grow within the company and letting them work with Michelin star chefs of NH Hotel Group. We’re looking forward sharing our insights during the ‘Hotel dining is back’ panel discussion at GRIF 2019.”




GRIF will also discuss the convenience revolution; utilising F&B technology to drive revenue; 21st century customer experiences; balancing authenticity and scale; and strategies for expansion in Europe.




Pettinger-Haines commented: “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 have invited industry legend Raymond Blanc, Chef Patron at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Founder of The Raymond Blanc Consultancy, to deliver a one on one keynote interview focusing on his work as the President of the SustainableRestaurant Association (SRA).”




Ahead of GRIF, Blanc commented: ““I think sustainability is going to play a bigger role in our industry than ever before. It forces us to ask the questions, what is modern luxury? What is modern food? And how do we create a sustainable business that will work in the future?”




He added: “To create something of consequential beauty, and for it to be sustainable, requires every element of a restaurant to work together in harmony. From the produce and the design to the team, the marketing and the training, every component plays an important role in delivering a sustainable experience.”


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