Restaurant Conference Delivers

The National Restaurant Conference was held this week in Melbourne at Foodservice Australia, with a stellar line-up of speakers including hospitality industry leaders and legends.

There were 35 speakers spread across ten information-rich sessions. They included Frank Tucker from Rockpool Dining, Hatem Saleh from Atlantic Group, Dehne Bingham from Mr Burger, Larissa Wolf-Tasker from Lakehouse, David Mackintosh from Pei Modern Group, Melanie de Souza from Visit Victoria, Geoff Ikin from Tourism Australia and many more.

Supported by Restaurant & Catering Australia and powered by XeniPOS, the National Restaurant Conference was attended by a full house of restaurateurs, managers, caterers and professional chefs from large and small businesses.

Highlights included a ‘State of the Industry’ address by R&C CEO John Hart; a panel session on ‘diversifying, expanding and change’ featuring Chris Lucas from The Lucas Group, Daniel Vaughan from The Pantry and Bruce Keebaugh from The Big Group; and ‘Breakthroughs in technology’ moderated by Robert Grimes from the US-based International Food & Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA).

“It was incredible to see the powerhouses of our industry all gathered in one room,” says Foodservice Australia’s Exhibition Director Tim Collett. “Every delegate took away a wealth of ideas and insights that will help them grow their business.”

In ‘after the fire’ we heard from three Melbourne bayside restaurants that had been destroyed by fire in the last three years. Gail Donovan advised restaurateurs to go straight home and check their insurance. Carly Skinner from Stokehouse talked about how to prevent fire. James Gibson and Helene Johnson from The Baths at Sorrento described how they rebuilt and reopened within twelve months.

In a fascinating session on generational change Edouard and Nathalie Reymond, Michael Lau and Carlo Grossi shared their experiences growing up as members of Melbourne’s iconic hospitality families. For them the pull to join the family business was too strong to ignore.

Kevin Dean from XeniPOS says he was proud to be involved. “We launched our new product AiChef at the show and it was great see our brand associated with such a high quality event. And for me a highlight was meeting Rob Grimes from IFBTA. It was superb to have an international speaker of his calibre there.”

The next National Restaurant Conference will be held on Monday 28 May 2018 at the new convention centre at Darling Harbour in Sydney. Registrations will open later this year at

Media Contact:
Sally Cross
T 03 9999 5468