Northern Ireland Tourist Board

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Food for Thought: Shaping the future of the hospitality sector

Sorry this event has now finished.

Presentations from this event can be found in the Downloads section at the bottom of the page.

The 2016 Year of Food and Drink proved to be a highly effective showcase for quality food and drink from Northern Ireland.  Achieving £41M of positive PR it brought the best of Northern Ireland’s chefs, restaurateurs, growers, distillers, farmers, brewers and retailers to the attention of audiences across the world.  Furthermore, the 23% positive increase in visitors' attitudes in rating food from Northern Ireland has finally confirmed our place on the culinary stage.

Are you involved in the hospitality sector and ready to look at how we build on this legacy and build for the future?

Do you want to have your say on how to address the critical challenges and skill shortages?

Join us at this dynamic event which will also look beyond Northern Ireland, benchmarking how other areas within the UK and internationally have tackled similar issues.  Hear from inspirational keynote speakers, including Donald Sloan, Oxford Cultural Collective and David Cochrane, Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, who will share expertise on tried and tested solutions. 

Using facilitated workshop sessions this half-day is specifically designed for active engagement from those who wish to inform, shape and drive some practical, solutions on the ground. The event will close with a plenary feedback panel from all workshops drawing out key short, medium and long-term actions aimed at positively moving the industry forward.


Delegates at this thought leadership event will:

  • Celebrate the success of partnership through the Year of Food and Drink 2016
  • Learn from local stories of innovation
  • Benchmark UK and international challenges and solutions
  • Examine current issues and barriers to growth
  • Collaborate to develop solutions and support mechanisms


Businesses from the hospitality and food and drink industry who:

  • Are passionate about the growth of their business
  • Are facing challenges relating to staff and skills
  • Are willing to engage in proactively shaping and driving solutions

Skills and business development providers supporting the food and drink industry who:

  • Are interested in better understanding current business needs
  • Are prepared to work collaboratively to support necessary actions identified
  • Are committed to building the legacy of the Year of Food and Drink 2016

To view the Programme for the day please click here