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The MA Leaders Club - May Online Event

Start Date:13 May, 2021

Start Time:10:00AM BST (London)

Duration:120 minutes


For our (hopefully) final virtual MA500, we’ll be looking into some of the challenges we’ll be facing as the industry starts to open up, from consumer attitudes, through to managing the workforce in a challenging and unpredictable climate. We’ll be taking a look at how the late night sector will look to bounce back after a horrific year of closure, and what impact the lockdown has had on food trends for the hospitality sector. Staycation and home tourism is likely to provide a real boost for operators, so we’ll be providing some great insight into how to tap into that, and with large weddings looking unlikely anytime soon, we’ll be exploring the opportunity for operators to benefit from the smaller wedding demand.

  • Introduction
  • State of the Nation -  Consumer recovery - how is consumer behaviour changing and what does that mean for operators.
  • Labouring the point - with the restart underway, operators are having to manage the return to work, alongside recruitment, training and the need to be flexible and cost conscious under the restrictions.
  • Late night action - after a year of full closures, what’s left for the late night sector - how can it recover and adapt to the new normal?
  • Food Factors - How has the pandemic impacted on food trends in hospitality - what are consumers looking for, and how are operators adapting to recover and meet those changing needs. What lessons have we learnt from lockdown.
  • Staycation anticipation - with the summer looming, and holiday’s abroad unlikely, how can operators tap into the opportunity of tourism at home?
  • Wedding Bells - with ongoing restrictions on large gatherings unlikely to change soon, pubs have a great opportunity to tap into the smaller wedding market.
  • Closing Remarks
Following the MA500 Online webinar on Thursday 13 May we will be hosting a series of special roundtables featuring some of our speakers. These will take place in small groups on zoom from 12:00 – 12:30. 

Should you wish to join one of the sessions below, please email: stating the session you wish to join. Please note there a limited numbers and your place is only confirmed if you receive an email confirmation. You will only be able to join one session. 

Session 1: Food Factors
Session 2: Labouring the point  
Session 3: Pub Opportunities, weddings and staycations


Molson Coors

In association with

 CPL LearningDavey
Pernod Ricard Poppleston Allen


Ed Bedington


The Morning Advertiser

Editor of the Morning Advertiser, Ed Bedington is a professional journalist of more than 25 years having worked across a range of sectors both in trade press and mainstream media. He’s covered the pub and bar sector for the last five and a half years at The MA both in print and online, and is head judge of both the Great British Pub Awards and the Publican Awards. He can often be found in a pub!

Alice Bowyer

Group Executive Chef

Liberation Group

After a stint at Bath Ales, Alice joined Liberation as group development chef for Butcombe in 2016, before becoming group executive chef for all managed pubs two years later. Alice and her team have grown the pub estate in the past four years, transforming the food offer and it's approach to training alongside food sourcing, and quality produce, leading to an eclectic range of menus & food sales growth. The business took home the title of Best Food Offer at the 2019 Publican Awards and again in 2020.

Karina Coen

MD - Hospitality Operations


Karina has 16 years of experience working for independent and multinational hospitality organisations in both operational and functional roles. Previously Global Director of Labour Productivity at Fourth, where she was central to the development of Fourth’s Productivity Module and rolling it out across the UK and US market. Karina recently joined Stint as MD - Hospitality Operations. Karina is passionate about working with businesses to execute brilliantly, turning ‘the plan’ into specific results for growth and productivity. With a challenging but engaging style, she believes that in order to deliver results in business you must question everything, stay ahead of the competition and constantly seek to exceed your own expectations. Karina studied Business Psychology and hopes one day to achieve accredited Business Psychologist status. Karina has a particular interest in Organisational Psychology, productivity and Organisational effectiveness.

Hayley Connor

Head of People & Learning

Brewhouse & Kitchen

Hayley, a grass roots publican, has been working in the licensed trade industry for 19 years. She has worked in numerous roles; from the early days of being a Kitchen Assistant in her Dad’s pub, to management for various pub and hospitality groups in the UK. For the last 9 years Hayley has been working in HR for SMEs and emerging brands within the sector. Hayley joined Brewhouse and Kitchen in 2015, seeing the company through its growth from 5 to 23 sites. She was a key driver of the brewer’s apprenticeship trailblazer and is also the author behind the people and culture blog “Humans for Breakfast”.

Paul Dickinson

Director of Food

Fuller, Smith & Turner

Paul joined Fuller’s in 2011 as Head of Food for Managed Pubs and Hotels having hones his skills in some of the best kitchens in the UK. He arrived with the clear objective of making Fuller’s “as famous for food as it is for beer” – a challenge he has approached with is trademark energy and enthusiasm. His success in this journey was marked in 2017 when he was promoted to Director of Food. Paul has shaped his cooking style and depth of knowledge as a pupil of some of the most influential leaders in the culinary profession including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White, Darren Velvick and Michel Roux Jr. Paul draws his innovation for new dishes from the culinary expertise of these mentors and from spending time travelling the world to broaden his cooking experience. Paul has a passion for developing others and has excelled in this area at Fuller’s, particularly through the development of The Fuller’s Chefs’ Guild. This industry leading initiative was launched in Spring 2015 and is a framework to give chefs the technical skills and competencies to progress through the seven levels within a Fuller’s kitchen. Over 500 chefs have been though the programme and The Fuller’s Chefs’ Guild is widely recognised by others in the industry as a fantastic example of best practice. In 2016, Paul launched The Fuller’s Chefs’ Guild Chef of the Year competition, with the two winners spending a week in Dubai working with two of Dubai’s top chefs. Following on from this successful and inspirational prize, the 2017 winners went to New York to work for a week with two of the Big Apple’s finest, Thomas Keller’s Per Se and Daniel, the leading restaurant of Daniel Boulud. in 2021 Paul has been appointed as the Team coach for the England National Culinary team, planning is well under way for the World Cup Luxembourg in 2022. Paul’s aim with Team England is to create an inclusive environment that harnesses the energy and creativity of all team members to the central mission, to challenge and encourage others to challenge conventional thinking to deliver original and exceptional results, and to ensure individual contributions build out to team success. Under his leadership, Fuller’s has restructured its portfolio of suppliers, sourcing the finest British seasonal ingredients and creating a range of specifically produced foods that often combine Paul’s passion for food with Fuller’s excellence in beer, such as London Porter Smoked Salmon, Vintage Ale Sticky Toffee Pudding, an award-winning Hampshire Black Pudding and, a range of bespoke Fuller’s ice creams by Laverstoke Park. Paul is married to Vikkie and has three young children. He enjoys playing rugby and extreme snowboarding and is a passionate England rugby supporter – which often causes problems with the South African-born Vikkie.

Mark Gibbons


Mark has been in the hospitality industry for 32 years initially in 3 and 4 star hotels and for the last 9 years in hostels. Mark is experienced in all things revenue management but also has extensive experience in food and beverage and front of house departments.

Rob Greacen


Stay Original

Rob Greacen is MD of Stay Original, a five strong group of boutique hotels and coaching inns in the South West. Rob started the group with 2 colleagues 10 years ago with an idea to acquire and redevelop redundant inns in beautiful towns and villages - combining a great bar with a cosy restaurant and beautiful rooms. Nothing too challenging about that but he also wanted to make a profit! Amazingly, it worked right from the beginning with a 7 bed village pub in Wedmore, Somerset and steadily grew building by building to the latest venture, a 35 bedroom coaching inn in Dorchester, which opened in the middle of a pandemic. Rob’s background is in property and private equity. Before Stay Original he has almost no hospitality experience other than being a shareholder and director of River Cottage for many years.

Sarah Groves

Head of Sales

Young’s Pubs

With over 15 years in the hospitality and events industry, Sarah is now responsible for all pre booking opportunities at Young’s including occasion led parties, pub weddings, corporate outreach, booking insights and innovation. As well as driving additional sales for the 30 hotels and gift vouchers experiences.

Jonny Jones

Managing Director , UK & Ireland


As MD for UK & Ireland, Jonny leads CGA’s commercial relationships with suppliers, operators and RTM across the GB and Island of Ireland businesses. Having spent 12 years at CGA in various client service and analytics roles, Jonny now provides insight and strategic consultancy to the senior teams of key players in out-of-home food and drink. Applying his passions for hospitality and actionable, data driven insight to support the growth strategies of some of the biggest brands in the market.

Nina Marshall

Director of HR Operations

The Stonegate Group

Nina’s career has always been within hospitality and spans the last 15 years. Previously working for Intertain and the Orchid Group. Nina is currently the Director of HR Operations for the Stonegate Group, managing a team of HR Business Partners and the Operational Recruitment Team who look after 14,000 employees at Stonegate. Nina also volunteers for the Licensed Trade Charity, assessing needs via face-to-face meetings.

Aaron Mellor

Founder and CEO

Tokyo Industries

Aaron is Founder and CEO of TOKYO INDUSTRIES, owners and operators of 45 of the UKs coolest music venues, clubs and festivals, with 7 International locations including Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Dubai, Croatia and Ibiza. Tokyo Industries own 80% of the properties from which they trade in. Aaron’s architecture and DJ background help in delivering an end to end solution for property and operation, firmly believing that music is independent and the individual venues brands should be louder than its operating company. Amongst many others Tokyo Industries Operate award winning music venues, DIGITAL and TUP TUP PALACE in Newcastle, FACTORY and IMPOSSIBLE in Manchester, LOST VILLAGE FESTIVAL and creative arts platform OPENLAB. The company has expanded during lockdown acquiring Manchester’s legendary DEAF INSTITUTE and GORILLA, Hull grassroots music venue THE WELLY and its first London venue in Mayfair.

Howard Nye

Operations Director

Anglian Country Inns

Howard has grown up in the trade in the family business but also studied hospitality at university graduating from Oxford Brookes University in May 2007 with a 2-1 BSc honours degree in hotel and restaurant management with a placement year at the 2 Michelin Star Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. With an eagerness to learn more and discover, Howard travelled around the world and experienced a wide spectrum of cultures and diversity within the trade which included 3 ½ years in South Africa managing food and beverage operations in wine farms and 5* hotels in and around Cape Town. Such experiences has developed Howard’s character into a people’s person, always searching for fun and energy in an environment, similar to his unique leadership style. Howard re-joined the company in 2011 to open and run Hermitage Rd, attaining BIB Gourmand status within the first year of operation. More recently Howard went into a group role focusing on operations and new project builds and existing site refurbishments. Howard was principally involved in the latest acquisition of the Farmhouse at Redcoats, a countryside 27 bed hotel, restaurant, and wedding venue. Fully refurbished in 2018, the site boasts a fantastic location (30mins north of London) In historic grade 2 listed buildings including the barn conversion wedding and conference centre.

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