Azzurri boss Steve Holmes talks brands, data and tailoring experiences at Insight 2019

CGA has released its full line-up of speakers ahead of next week's 2019 Insight conference.
Steve Holmes, CEO at Azzurri Group

How is improving insight changing operational perspectives across high street brands? Steve Holmes, the man leading top eating-out names Zizzi, ASK and Coco di Mama, will be sharing his views at next week’s CGA’s Insight 2019 conference in London.

Holmes, the CEO of the Azzurri Group. will be in conversation with CGA’s vice president Peter Martin, discussing what success on the high street now looks like and how data and multi-source feedback are playing increasingly important roles to delivering quality customer experiences.

The invitation-only conference is being held in the auditorium at 30 Euston Square, London, on the afternoon of Thursday, April 4, and will again be chaired by Peter Martin, who will introduce and question a full roster of guest speakers and panellists – as well as CGA’s own sector experts.

Karl Chessell, director of CGA’s food and retail unit, will map the fast-changing face of eating and drinking out in Britain – from cityscapes to market towns, the hotspots for new openings and sales growth, the black-spots for closures, and the spread of changing customer types, tastes and habits.

JJ Goodman, Founder at The London Cocktail Club

He will focus on the need for new perspectives for location planning and consumer segmentation and reveal the rising stars in restaurants, bars and cafes. Stone & River’s Molly Johnson-Jones brings findings from our new joint Brand Momentum Report, spotlighting the ups and downs of the biggest brands in the market. The full list of which brands are moving up and down the tables will also be released.

Marcel Khan, formerly of Nando’s and Five Guys and now CEO of Thunderbird Fried Chicken, will be explaining the anatomy of a successful brand roll-out and how he is planning to take the newly invested Thunderbird street food brand to market. He’ll also be explaining how he has used data to keep those plans on track.

The food and drink market’s most influential communication experts – Ann Elliott, Mark Stretton and Mark McCulloch – are also coming together at this year’s conference to share their expertise and debate how businesses can cut through the noise to land their message perfectly.

Molly Johnson-Jones, Head of Strategy at Stone & River

The leaders of Elliotts Agency, Fleet Street Communications and Supersonic Inc, respectively, will examine how marketing, PR and social media play vital yet changing roles in communicating with both external and internal audiences – and how new techniques and media are constantly emerging and evolving.

Another high-octane panel will grapple with the question of what a great bar looks like. Mitchells & Butlers director Susan Chappell and Revolution Bars sales and marketing director Kate Eastwood will be joining celebrity bartender and founder of The London Cocktail Club JJ Goodman.

CGA’s commercial director Graeme Loudon will set the scene, analysing the growth and demise of drinks categories, the increasingly vital role of ranging and pricing in winning in local markets and the emerging trends and disruptors shaping the market.

Before that technology experts from Wireless Social, Zonal and CPL Online will discuss why the market needs to learn to love data, examining how the latest developments in the tech world are changing the hospitality experience, customer expectations and creating even more data.

“With so much change in the market, how operators, suppliers and investors can get an accurate fix on the big picture is a major challenge we will be grappling with,” said Martin.

David Charlton, Commercial Director at Zonal Marketing Technologies

CGA is the sector’s leading insight and data specialists, and its team will be on hand to demonstrate how it is using its full range of market measurement tools to distil the ever-growing mass of market data into meaningful and actionable insights – helping operators, suppliers and investors track, interpret and evaluate the ever-changing food and drink scene.

“We promise a challenging, engaging and content-packed afternoon of debate and discussion. How market players can best use their own and external data to give them a competitive edge is going to be vital – as the art of analysis itself is constantly changing too,” said Peter Martin. “If customers want instant gratification, operators are going to need instant feedback. This is going to be the year that the market learns to love data.”

CGA’s Insight 2019 is a free event for operators but is invitation only. To request a ticket, visit

Insight 2019 is supported by: CPL Online, Fishbowl, Merchant’s Heart, Odgers Berndtson, Wireless Social & Zonal.


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