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The Nationwide Caterers Association
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Catering at Events:
Past, Present and Future


The landscapes of both the events and catering industries have changed substantially in the last decade. We’ve seen the increase in outdoor events & festivals and with this, a new perspective on top-quality food & drink traders and the benefits they bring to the event experience.

However, the concern over pitch fees and traders’ financial security has always been a prevalent issue, so going forward, how can we ensure the longevity and wellbeing of our members’ businesses?


We’ve reached out to experts in all areas of the food and event industries to initiate an informed discussion on the importance of booking the right event. Read more about them below.

Starting out as a street food trader operating at his local community market in Levenshulme, Manchester 5 years ago, Jason now runs GRUB which is one of the premier street food events in the UK, alongside their permanent events space Fairfield Social Club.

The primary goal of GRUB has always been to support the community benefits of any market by reducing the barriers to entry for passionate chefs that have a genuine contribution to be made to the food landscape of Manchester. GRUB is fiercely independent and only works with street food chefs rather than macro brands or restaurants. GRUB’s offering has always been inclusive and every effort is made to provide the highest quality food and drink at affordable prices.

Bayo, a psychologist by trade, decided to establish Flavors of Africa in order to resolve his own discontentment with the food offering at many of the events he attended. Having carried out small-scale research he found that a lot of attendees were interested in dishes with more variety and provenance attached to them and so he set to work. Having started trading in June 2015, Flavors of Africa soon graduated to trading at events such as Leeds, Boomtown and Green Man; when in 2017, they won Best Dressed Stall in Glastonbury’s Trader Awards.

Bayo and his team are committed to producing great food and constantly seek feedback from their customers so that they can consistently improve their offering; this coupled with their exquisite Nigerian cuisine surely explains the exponential growth they have experienced in the last four years.


Alan has worked in the mobile catering industry for the past 14 years in which time, he has risen to become the Managing Director of the Nationwide Caterers Association.

Alan is passionate about encouraging diversity in the industry and works to give independent business owners a voice on issues that affect them. He actively supports traders to increase their opportunities to work, navigate legislation and manage the everyday challenges faced by small food business owners.


Bev and Sarah have built eat:Festivals to meet the needs of food and drink producers and communities who have lost their connection with the land. Nationally multi-award winning and driven to deliver a great return on investment for their producers, partners and 9 host towns.

They curate up to 140 local producers per festival who are showcased in the town centre with demo stage, talks, cook school and entertainment alongside farm machinery and livestock. The focus is on presenting high quality producers and promoting the town (and it’s businesses) to an interested visitor profile that may have fallen out of love with their town centre. They regularly attract in excess of 20,000 to their one-day festivals, have a net promoter score of over 90% from their producers and a great reputation as top-class partners.

Their festivals always free to attend and are funded from a combination of sponsors and pitch fees. 

Lulu’s experience in the events and catering industries is unparalleled. Having begun her mobile catering career back in 1987 with nothing but a love for music festivals and a rudimentary knowledge of cooking; she very much learned the tricks of the trade first hand. The immersive experience stood her in good stead, and 30 years later she remains passionate about mobile catering as a trader herself and as Trader’s Manager at WOMAD since 2007; Lulu is arguably the busiest woman in the industry.

Having spent decades trading at some of the most renowned events in the UK and indeed, the world, Lulu has seen first-hand, the changes that have occurred in the industry in recent years and the subsequent impact on mobile caterers past, present and future.


Price: £50 for Members /  £60 for Non-Members

(+VAT and booking fee)

or call 0121 603 2524

between 9-5.30 on Monday to Friday


Be sure to stick around for the after-event, where there’ll be live music and food & drink provided by the award-winning Digbeth Dining Club, to ensure you leave with newfound knowledge and contacts, and of course, have a bit of fun!


The purpose of NCASS Congress 2019 is to address the issues that matter most to our members. We’ve curated a day of talks, seminars and roundtable discussions to keep you ahead of changes and help you shape the future of your industry. Click the links below to find out more about each of the talks.

Price: £50 for Members /  £60 for Non-Members

(+VAT and booking fee)

or call 0121 603 2524

between 9-5.30 on Monday to Friday