Australian food industry gets its own Restaurant Summit

Head to Noosa to discuss ways to revamp the food industry.

Head to Noosa to discuss ways to revamp the food industry.

The Australian food industry is gearing up for the very first Australian Restaurant Summit, to be hosted by Noosa International Food and Wine Festival director Jim Berardo and industry body Restaurant and Catering Australia.

The event is set to run over two days during the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival and will feature panels, speeches, round tables and audience question and answer sessions. Top chefs, educators, food writers and restaurateurs are expected to travel from around the country to attend this industry-first event, which was borne out of Berardo's desire to identify, discuss and remedy perceived challenges within the food industry. Short-, medium- and long-term solutions are expected to be developed on some of the industry's most pressing matters.

Educators, floor staff and managers are all invited, and hospitality students looking to get an insight into the inner workings of the industry should put this one on their to-do list.

Speakers at the event include The Australian food critic Jonathan Lethlean, restaurateur Peter Batholomew and managing director of Tourism Australia John O'Sullivan. Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, will also be making a special appearance.

What's on the menu?

Issues to be covered over the two-day program include the following:

  • Customer trends and demands, including mobile and temporary food vendors and the ever-changing tourism demand
  • Workforce issues, such as skills and labour shortages, industrial laws, migration problems
  • Cost of business issues, including food and wine prices, occupancy costs and utilities and insurance
  • Taxes and regulations, like superannuation, fringe benefits tax, food regulation and occupational health and safety

Around 500 guests are expected to attend the summit, which will not only offer education and discussion but also networking opportunities for attendees.

"They will get to meet people like CEOs that they would not have had access to ordinarily. Like any professional meeting, it's free consultation," Berardo told Food Service News. Following the summit, the key issues and outcomes discussed will be turned into a white paper to be used for monitoring industry affairs and in government policy decisions.

The Australian Restaurant Summit is taking place at Noosa's Lions Park on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 May, with the ticket price covering the summit, morning tea, lunch and entry to the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival Welcome Party.