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Date:MARCH 23, 2021

Start Time:9:30AM GMT (LONDON) 

Duration:180 minutes


MCA's Food to Go Conference is the annual must-attend event for senior operators, suppliers, investors and other sector stakeholders.

Food to go was the fastest growing segment of the eating out market pre-pandemic, valued at £21.3bn in 2019 (source: Lumina Intelligence). Since then operators have struggled with severe operating restrictions as well as issues around footfall, finance, people and property.

In this virtual conference for 2021, industry leaders including Roger Whiteside of Gregg's, Jason Clark of McDonald's UK and Clare Clough of Pret discuss innovative solutions and their vision for the future. With dedicated insight from Lumina Intelligence, Allegra and CACI, as well as high level investment and property panel sessions, this is an event not to be missed.

This year, access is free. Register now for your ticket.



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Jason Clark

Chief Operations Officer

McDonald's UK

Jason was appointed Chief Operations Officer for McDonald’s UK&I in October 2016 and is responsible for the restaurant business, franchising and corporate operations. Having first joined the business as a crew member in South London, Jason has been with McDonald’s for 33 years. He has worked extensively throughout Operations and Franchising, helping the business to expand significantly and spent 15 years working alongside Franchisee Operators in numerous leadership roles, including VP of Franchising South, where he was responsible for the strategic development of the franchised business, ensuring high standards of operational excellence and franchisee partnership across his region. He was promoted to National Operations Director in 2012 leading the corporate Operations function for the UK, and then to Director of Customer Innovation in 2013 where he introduced self-order touch-screens, new kitchen and IT systems and led the UK business to realise its vision for Experience of the Future. In 2014, Jason was promoted to the UK Executive team as VP Franchising. Jason’s favourite McDonald’s meal is a Big Mac with a cup of tea.

Clare Clough

UK Managing Director

Pret A Manger

Pret’s UK MD, Clare Clough, has almost 20 years’ experience in the Food & Beverage retail sector. Having started her career at Safeway in 2002 followed by Tesco in 2004, Clare moved to Pret in 2010 and worked her way up through the Food & Coffee team, holding various roles, from Head of Food & Technical to Chief Food & Coffee Officer in 2018. As part of this, Clare led the development of the chain's brand concept, Veggie Pret and oversaw the introduction of full ingredient labelling as part of the Pret Allergy Plan. With her skillset and expertise, Clare was promoted in August 2019 to UK MD. Since March 2020, Clare has been leading Pret UK through the COVID-19 crisis and has overseen the launch of a major transformation programme, including bringing Pret’s first Coffee Subscription service to market with YourPret Barista, and launching Pret’s first Consumer Packaged Goods range in Pret shops and several major retailers. As well as leading Pret’s UK business, Clare sits as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of COOK.

Darrel Connell



Prior to joining Imbiba, Darrel was formerly a Director at Foresight Group, a market leading UK lower mid-market private equity firm with £3bn of assets under management. Darrel led the firm's consumer and leisure coverage and was a Non-Executive on the board of multiple high growth consumer businesses. Darrel is currently a Non-Executive on the Board of Purple Dragon, Vagabond Wines and Farmer J and focuses on sourcing new investment opportunities for Imbiba and deal execution.

H. Ashton Crosby

Co-founder and Managing Director


Ashton has over 18 years of experience as an investor, investment banker, operator and entrepreneur across the food service and consumer/retail sectors in Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia. Ashton joined Capdesia from True, a London-based mid-market consumer/retail private equity firm, where he ran the investment team. Prior to True, Ashton worked at Tesco in Business Development, helping execute their investments in what became ‘Tesco Hospitality’ (Giraffe, Harris+Hoole, Euphorium Bakery and Tesco Cafes). He also spent time as COO/Commercial Director (and interim CFO) of Harris+Hoole, opening 52 coffee shops in 2½ years. Previously, Ashton was an investment banker with Nomura’s EMEA Consumer/Retail M&A team. He started his career at Citibank and BGC Partners/Cantor Fitzgerald in New York and Hong Kong. During this time he also helped launch two consumer/retail businesses. Ashton holds a BA in Modern Languages from Trinity College and an MBA from HEC Paris. He is fluent in Spanish and conversational in Mandarin, French, Portuguese and is learning Italian.

Stephen Goldstein

VP of Strategic Restaurant Partnerships


Stephen joined Deliveroo in 2019 and has global responsibility for Deliveroo’s Enterprise business and for Signature, Deliveroo’s industry-leading White Label proposition. Stephen joined Deliveroo from Restaurant Brands International where he held several senior leadership positions, including Senior Vice President - Head of Business Development/M&A and Senior Vice President - President of Tim Hortons USA. Prior to Restaurant Brands International, Stephen was a Vice President in Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley and a Consultant at McKinsey & Company. Stephen is a graduate of the Harvard Business School (Honors) and the Wharton School (BSE, Beta Gamma Sigma, Summa Cum Laude).

Georgi Gyton

Deputy Editor


Georgi joined MCA as deputy editor in 2017 and has written extensively about all areas of the eating and drinking out sector. She has previously held senior roles at People Management and Event at Haymarket Media Group. Prior to that she spent seven years at William Reed, beginning her career at British Baker, before moving across to Meat Trades Journal and

Peter Martin

Contributing Editor


Peter Martin is an industry expert and commentator who co-founded M&C Report in 1996, which later merged with Allegra Foodservice to become MCA. Since then Peter has gone on to launch and run other industry services and events, including the Peach Factory, which is now part of CGA. Peter has now re-joined MCA as a columnist, giving his view on the big issues of the moment.

Richard Morris

Managing Director


Becoming Managing Director of Tortilla in February 2014, Richard brings with him 25 years’ experience in the food sector. After working in the US, his first insight in to the restaurant industry was with TGI Fridays, where after running the iconic Covent Garden restaurant, he became Regional Manager , and then Operations Director. He then moved on to Rainforest Café where he opened, London, Manchester and also the Disneyworld Paris location. Richard was then part of the original management team at Loch Fyne Restaurants, moving from Operations Director to Managing Director in 2005. After selling the business to Greene King, Richard worked with Daylesford Organic for 2 years, before taking up his current MD role at Tortilla.

Shereen Ritchie

Managing Director

Leon UK

Shereen has 25 years of experience in restaurants, PR and maintenance. She is LEON’s Managing Director with a difference. She can give you a masterclass in how to lead by inspiration, she creates teams with the strength of lions, and can still teach you the TGI Fridays trick of how to hold 6 glasses in one hand! Her ‘Only Way is Essex’ upbringing taught her to add glitter and unicorns to everything.

Robert Robinson


Notes Coffee

Starting out serving coffee from a market stall, Rob went on to co-found Notes in 2010. Serving speciality coffee, craft beer and cocktails Notes now has ten stores across central London. Sourced at origin, their high grade coffee is roasted at the Notes Roastery and served at over 60 partner cafes across London.

Ted Schama


Shelley Sandzer

Ted has over 30 years’ experience and is joint managing partner and heads up the leasing department acting primarily in London for some of the most well respected public and private property companies as well as some London Estates.

Vishal Talreja

Property Director


Vishal Talreja is itsu s Property Director. He has been a senior operator in the hospitality industry for over 15 years. Leading itsu s property strategy since 2018 & utilising his in depth sector knowledge has resulted in many successful openings for itsu with more to come...

Chris Thompson

Director of Location Analytics


As Director of Location Analytics at CACI, Chris is responsible for designing, leading and delivering analytical solutions to Leisure operators globally. Chris has a comprehensive technical background in data science, customer insight and market analysis - specialising in predictive modelling, market sizing, segmentation and multichannel strategies. Over the last 9 months, Chris has spent much of his time refocusing CACI’s broader leisure, retail and property proposition to deliver insight from the challenges presented by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Blonnie Whist

Head of Insight

Lumina intelligence

Roger Whiteside

Chief Executive


During 40 years working in retail and leisure, Roger Whiteside has seen it all. He began his career at Marks & Spencer where he spent 20 years, ultimately becoming head of its food business during its golden period including the launch of the Simply Food concept Taking a leap of faith, he joined the founding team at Ocado in 2000, where he spent the next four years helping to lead the team that established the innovative online grocer in partnership with John Lewis and Waitrose. His next challenge saw the successful turnaround of the off-licence chain Thresher Group for Guy Hands Terra Firma before joining Punch Taverns emerging from the demerger of that business as CEO to guide them through a difficult period which included a transformational new direction and refinancing. Joining the board of Greggs as NED in 2008, Roger was appointed CEO in 2013 at a low point for the business suffering from the effects of recession and new competition. Eight years on he has led a historic shift in strategy that has delivered record sales and profits. In 2019, Roger was awarded the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), in recognition of his services to women and equality.

Jeffrey Young

CEO and Founder

Allegra Group

Jeffrey Young has worked as a research and strategy consultant for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for over 20 years and founded Allegra Strategies and Allegra Group in 1999. Young’s early career began in the hospitality industry where he completed studies at the Ryde College of Hotel and Catering Management in Sydney, NSW Australia. He then went on to obtain a business degree in Finance and Economics and an MBA (with Distinction) from the University of Houston. Young is a full member of the Market Research Society and with his passion for coffee is also the founder of The Allegra Foundation, the global coffee festivals across London, New York, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam, and is the editor-in-Chief of 5THWAVE magazine and host of the 5THWAVE podcast – the leading digital publications for the global coffee industry.

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