Monday night (26 February) saw the 50th anniversary of The Restaurant Association – one of the UK hospitality sector’s premier annual fundraising events – held at The Savoy, London.
Attended by some of the industry’s biggest names including Prue Leith, James Martin and Anthony Worrell-Thompson, this star-studded event proved an important opportunity for restaurant owners, managers, chefs, industry professionals, service and product suppliers to share insights, foster ideas and formulate approaches that will help drive business in the coming months and years.
In a celebration of the fifty years, guests reflected on the achievements of the hospitality industry and looked ahead to what is a crucial period for the sector, with the culmination of the Brexit talks coupled with a rapidly changing commercial landscape.
West End singer Mazz Murray started the evening off with a beautiful medley of songs setting the mood for the night. Messages from a host of chefs who were unable to attend such as Rick Stein and Ken Hom, and notably a passionate message from Heston Blumenthal which had the room in stitches, were played for guests, highlighting their appreciation of the work of The Restaurant Association and what it has achieved for the sector.
The dinner is a joint initiative by The Nth Degree, one of the industry’s most exclusive private dining clubs and The Restaurant Association, now part of UKHospitality. The prestigious dinner was in aid of Action Against Hunger– which has been leading the fight against global hunger for 40 years – with those in attendance, including well-known businesses from across the UK and other leading names in the industry, gave generously to Action Against Hunger raising an impressive £46,100 through the auction of charitably donated prizes including a holiday to the Cayman Islands.
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of The Restaurant Association and Chief Executive-elect of UKHospitality – the culmination of The ALMR and British Hospitality Association merger, said:
“The Restaurant Association’s 50th Birthday Dinner did a fantastic job in celebrating the amazing people that make the British hospitality industry so vibrant and successful. It was wonderful to reflect on the sector’s achievements over the past fifty years, and with the creation of UKHospitality, a powerful, united voice for the hospitality sector, we look forward to building on them over the next fifty and beyond. This passionate industry is under immense pressure for myriad reasons, but with the right support from government it can continue to flourish and succeed.”
Matthew White, Director of Fundraising & Communications at Action Against Hunger said: “Thank you so much to everyone involved in Monday night’s event. The event raised an incredible amount of money that will help us make a real difference to the lives of malnourished children across the world.”
Robert Walton MBE; President of The Restaurant Association, said:
“What an honour for me to host such an amazing event celebrating how London and the UK has taken hospitality to the highest level.”
To find out more about the Restaurant Association 50th birthday dinner, please see here.