Arena Autumn Event

A fabulous panel of female hospitality leaders

This event brings to the stage a panel of inspirational hospitality and foodservice female leaders.  Taking place on Monday 25 September 2023 at the iconic Hyde Park 5 star Royal Lancaster London Hotel the event includes a panel discussion hosted by Ann Elliott with Catherine Roe, CEO, Elior UK; Helen Charlesworth, Managing Director, Stonegate Group; Marta Pogroszewska, Managing Director, GAIL's Bakery and Chloe Jackson, Managing Director, Smart Group plus an educational insight session presented by Jill Livesey, Managing Director, Lumina Intelligence.

Attendee List


Take a look at the attendee list for this event.

Event Review

by William Murray PR & Marketing

The iconic 5-star Royal Lancaster, London played host to Arena’s Autumn Event including a panel discussion with female hospitality leaders.

Over 150 attendees were welcomed to the impressive Westbourne Suite at The Royal Lancaster, London, with Délifrance pastries and Néscafe coffees before taking their seats for the first part of the day, an educational insight session presented by Jill Livesey, Managing Director, Lumina Intelligence.

The dynamic eating and drinking out market insight included hot off the press data on consumer and operator trends and consumer expectations. Jill started the session with a positive forecast - the eating out market is expected to reach £100bn in the next 3 years, despite everything the hospitality industry has endured.


Consumer confidence is still volatile but improving from -49 in September 2022 to -25 in September 2023. Ongoing rail strikes are delaying recovery to the hospitality industry, but Staycations have been a real boost, with 41% of UK consumers enjoying a UK holiday this summer with an increase spend of £848 vs £696 in 2019.

Growth expected

The eating and drinking out market is forecast to grow by 4.7% in 2023 with contract caterers increasing turnover +1.7% to £4.6bn and pubs expected to increase +4.6% to £23.3bn.

Growth is being driven by fast service and low-ticket item channels including sandwich and bakery, coffee shops/cafes, fast food and convenience store and supermarket to go. 

Consumer expectations

Eating out is increasingly viewed as a treat and consumers are prioritising value-led experiences when eating out, while sustainability, brand and quality-led experiences are less important than last year.    

The industry is embracing the trends with new food halls opening, the first drive-thru street food venue launching, outdoor spaces being maximised, and many venues investing in accommodation.  Operators are also becoming more dog friendly; with one million more dogs in the UK since pre-pandemic, customers are offered special menus to select food and drinks for their pooch.

What does the future hold?

Keep an eye out for 3D printing!  The UK’s first 3D ice cream launched this summer. Called Ayce! (Art you can eat), this award-winning ice cream uses locally sourced, natural ingredients. Personalised nutrition, sustainability and immune-focused products are also tipped for growth.

The insight session concluded, and guests were invited to network, enjoying extra dry Tosti Prosecco, courtesy of Unity Wines & Spirits and canapes, courtesy of Délifrance.  Seats were then taken in a room lit with Bolsius Professional candles, creating the perfect ambiance for guests to enjoy a three-course lunch, featuring menus with carbon footprint information from Nutritics.  Lunch was accompanied by wines from Unity Wines & Spirits, soft drinks from Britvic Soft Drinks and coffee courtesy of Néscafe.

After lunch the panel of inspirational hospitality and female leaders took to the stage for a discussion hosted by Ann Elliot including Catherine Roe, CEO, Elior UK; Helen Charlesworth, Managing Director, Stonegate Group; Marta Pogroszewska, Managing Director, GAIL’s Bakery and Chloe Jackson, Managing Director, Smart Group.

The panel were all in agreement, that there is still work to be done to encourage more women into senior leadership roles within the industry. Helen Charlesworth said:

It isn’t just about women being on boards, it is about diversity, inclusion, colour, religion, sexuality.”

Catherine Roe told the audience how much she enjoys mentoring women in the hospitality sector and that she strongly believes in the power of diversity and creating an inclusive workplace.

Balancing the team based on talent rather than gender is key to delivering the results,” was the advice from Marta Pogroszewska. 

Chloe Jackson concluded the session advising: “Everyone has different capabilities, so being authentic to yourself is key in any industry.”

The Arena Autumn event raised over £2,000 for Springboard.

Event Timings

11.00 Guest Arrival and Refreshments
11.30 Insights Presentation
12.00 Drinks Reception
13.00 Three course lunch with wine
14.45 Panel Discussion plus audience Q&A
16.00 Drinks and Networking
16.30 Guests Depart