GRIF heads to Europe for sixth edition

The Global Restaurant Investment Forum 2019 (GRIF) is back for its sixth edition, headlined by two of the world’s greatest chefs and restaurateurs – Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc.

The culinary geniuses will join leaders from the international restaurant investment community in Amsterdam next month for an event themed around the three pillars of evolution, disruption and invention.

Hosted by NH Hotel Group at the NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky from February 25-27, GRIF will bring together more than 350 investors, owners, franchisors and hospitality leaders.

Ahead of the forum, Jennifer Pettinger-Haines, Co-Founder, GRIF and Managing Director – Middle East, Bench Events, says: “When industry fundamentals are changing, growth drivers are unpredictable, investment models are unreliable, customer forecasts are increasingly inaccurate – then it’s time to gather and discuss our evolution.

“We’ve designed GRIF to give our delegates critical insights they need to help drive business – to evolve, invent, and disrupt their ways through the current climate,” reveals Pettinger-Haines.

“Our stellar line-up of speakers will help us do this with topical, thought-provoking sessions tackling the issues we all care about, from sustainability and scalability to eatertainment and expansion. GRIF will discuss the future of F&B in retail, analyse the progression of hotel dining, review tech innovations and forecast new investor behaviour,” she adds.

Stefan Breg, Group Strategy Director, Keane, who will give a presentation on global restaurant trends, adds: “We will explore how demand is evolving from the young to millennials, gen x and y to baby boomers across the four continents that we work in. We will look at the thinking behind malls, master developers and large restaurant hotel groups and how ‘science’ is being used to shape what they do.”:

New models of hotel dining are also expected to be a hot topic at GRIF, as is the opportunity for growth and creativity in the restaurant business via partnerships.

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Maarten Markus, Managing Director Northern Europe, NH Hotel Group, comments: “At NH Hotel Group, we’re always looking for fruitful cooperation opportunities with investors and partnerships with top chefs in order to provide our guests with the highest service and quality possible. We have facilitated partnerships for innovative collaborations that would otherwise be challenging to set up and put in motion.

“Next to that, fostering talent in gastronomy is of great importance to us,” continues Markus. “We support gastronomic talent through agreements with gastronomy schools or institutions and also by being able to identify blooming internal talent and giving them opportunities to grow within the company and letting them work with Michelin star chefs of NH Hotel Group. We’re looking forward sharing our insights during the ‘Hotel dining is back’ panel discussion at GRIF 2019.”

GRIF will also discuss the convenience revolution; utilising F&B technology to drive revenue; 21st century customer experiences; balancing authenticity and scale; and strategies for expansion in Europe.

Pettinger-Haines reveals: “We expect much of the debate at GRIF to be underpinned by the theme of sustainability and the importance of ‘profit with purpose’. This is why we have invited industry legend Raymond Blanc, Chef Patron at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Founder of The Raymond Blanc Consultancy, to deliver a one on one keynote interview focusing on his work as the President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).”

Ahead of GRIF, Blanc told us: ““I think sustainability is going to play a bigger role in our industry than ever before. It forces us to ask the questions, what is modern luxury? What is modern food? And how do we create a sustainable business that will work in the future?”

He adds: “To create something of consequential beauty, and for it to be sustainable, requires every element of a restaurant to work together in harmony. From the produce and the design to the team, the marketing and the training, every component plays an important role in delivering a sustainable experience.”

To hear more from Blanc, Pierre-White, Breg, Markus, and many more restaurant industry leaders, register now for GRIF and book your place at the annual meeting place for the global restaurant investment community.


  • Industry Overview: Top Trends – Taking the pulse of the restaurant industry globally
  • Hotel Dining is back. New models for fostering gastronomic talent
  • The Future of F&B in Retail
  • Strategies for Expansion in Europe
  • Top 10 tech innovations you need to know about
  • How to Scale a Brand in Developing Markets
  • MasterChef; Creating next the level of EATERTAINMENT
  • The Convenience Revolution
  • Exploring Alternative Low Capex Growth Opportunities for Operators


On February 25, GRIF delegates will be taken on a culinary tour across Amsterdam, experiencing some of the most innovative outlets in Europe, including: 

Vegan Junk Food Bar

Breaks through the stigma surrounding plant-based food, with vegan takes on comfort food favourites.


An ABN AMRO creation, this unique circular pavilion, with F&B by Vermaat, strives for maximum sustainable impact.


Promises the best quality of fish in town for the lowest prices in the most unique setting.

The Avocado Show

Serves visually stunning and delicious dishes made from sustainable avocados.


GRIF welcomes more than 80+ influential speakers from the global restaurant market, each chosen for their industry knowledge, experience and insight, including:

  • Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons; Founder, The Raymond Blanc Consultancy; President, The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA)
  • Marco Pierre White, known as the godfather of modern cooking, this restaurateur and TV personality was the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars before famously returning his stars when he retired
  • Lesley Bamberger, Managing Director, Kroonenberg Groep
  • Bas Buvelot, Director Asset Development, CBRE Global Investors
  • Terry Erdle, Chief Operating Officer, National restaurant Association (USA)
  • Tony Kitous, Founder & Creative Director, Comptoir Group
  • Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive Officer, UKHospitality


GRIF will present essential data and statistics for restaurant investors, including insights to the Netherlands F&B sector – specifically the transformational role of F&B in the changing face of retail – from GRIF sponsor, Colliers International.

According to Colliers, the Netherlands’ F&B sector is worth more than 61 billion euro and is the fastest riser in the retail market, with nearly 139,000 square metres added in 2018 alone.

Etienne van Unen, Partner, Director Retail, Head EMEA Retail at Colliers International, comments: “I would like to address how food and beverage concepts are taking over the retail-scene in a fast manner. However, the retail that remains within the shops and streets benefits from this development due to the enhanced appeal to come, stay and “hang-out” in these areas. Society is craving experience and people need to be engaged and intrigued by their surroundings. Therefore, it should not be seen as a threat but rather as an enrichment of the shopping streets.

“I’m looking forward to sharing experiences and knowledge with influential people in the F&B market at GRIF. This is not only one of the key developments in our current society, but this is also one of the main mechanisms to keep ourselves informed and sharp.”



Date: 25-27 February 2019

Venue: NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam

Theme: Evolve, Invent + Disrupt

Who’s going: 350+ global restaurant industry investors, owners, operators and consultants

What’s happening: 80+ speakers will share essential insights to drive business in a three-day programme that will educate and inspire



  • Global Restaurant Franchisor of the Year Award, sponsored by Denton’s: Celebrating the franchise businesses in the F&B industry, the awards recognise newcomers and established brands that have proven their ability to produce consistent quality and a commercially successful business.

To put your franchise forward, or to nominate a franchise you feel deserving of this award, please email your nomination to with the name of the franchise, country(s) where the franchises are and contact details (if known) by 15th February 2019.

  • The GRIF DEAL DEN: watch brands pitch their concepts to top GRIF investors as they seek to raise capital, internationalise their brand, expand their offering or find new partners.


Tags: Europe, Investment, restaurants


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