Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, lunch! has been postponed until next year, organiser Diversified Communications UK has confirmed.
The UK’s foremost trade event for the café, coffee shop and food-to-go sector will now run on 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London.
While the UK’s lockdown measures are expected to ease over the coming months, social distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings will remain for the foreseeable future.
Notably, many of lunch!’s exhibitors and visitors are among the 7.5 million people currently furloughed, with tens of thousands of outlets shut until at least July, which makes it even harder for firms to plan many months ahead.
“Whilst we were hopeful that the current tough measures on restricted social interaction would be lifted by the autumn, there are still too many questions surrounding hotels, travel, social distancing measures, and individual company policies, to make it viable to run lunch! this year,” said Chris Brazier, lunch!’s Group Event Director.
“Clearly, the best and most responsible option for everyone involved is to wait and host an even better show in 2021.
“We appreciate how important lunch! is to the industry it serves and are very sorry to disappoint the thousands of attendees that were planning on exhibiting and visiting. However, the success as well as the safety of our exhibitors, speakers and visitors has always been our priority and we are hoping that everyone will get behind this tough but necessary decision.
“The good news is that much of the event planning is already in place, and we go into 2021 with an incredible amount of good will and support. The lunch! team would like to thank everyone – our exhibitors, visitors, speakers and partners – for their support.
“We look forward to working together to ensure that it continues to be the celebration and gathering the industry deserves – and can be proud of.”
The announcement includes the new dates for Commercial Kitchen, with the show now set to run alongside lunch!.
Although the two events will maintain separate identities and focus, visitors and exhibitors will benefit from a potential boost in seeing an even greater range of products and customers respectively.
lunch! and Commercial Kitchen will take place on 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London.