Gary Neville and Michael O’Hare to headline NRB Debate 2017


GG Hospitality’s Gary Neville and Creative Director Michael O’Hare to discuss their Northern roots and international ambitions, from cafés and hotels to Michelin star dining, at the NRB Debate at Manchester Central on Tuesday 21 March 2017.

Northern Restaurant & Bar’s annual NRB Debate, taking place on Tuesday 21 March, will be headlined by Gary Neville and Michael O’Hare of GG Hospitality. Since retiring from his playing career Gary has quickly established himself as a shrewd and ambitious operator in property and hospitality, whilst chef Michael O’Hare has undergone a meteoric rise, winning a Michelin star for his signature restaurant The Man Behind The Curtain in Leeds, before joining GG Hospitality as Creative Director.

GG Hospitality’s successful Hotel Football brand opened its flagship hotel in Old Trafford, Manchester in 2015, while Café Football opened its first site in Westfield Stratford in 2013, followed by a second at Hotel Football and a third set to open in the National Football Museum in in 2017. There is further commitment to roll these brands out internationally, as well as a partnership with Michael O’Hare which launched The Rabbit in the Moon at the National Football Museum in December and has ambitious plans for The Stock Exchange, a 39-bedroom boutique property in central Manchester.

“What I admire about Gary and Michael is that despite their fierce commitment to the North their ambitions are national and indeed international” said Thom Hetherington, CEO of Holden Media, organisers of NRB Debate. “With their significant plans for Hotel Football and Café Football, as well as the unique creativity and uncompromising excellence of Michael’s own restaurants I think they will have a significant and arguably unique impact on the region’s food and drink industry in the next few years. They are both eloquent, articulate and hold strong opinions so it should make for a compelling debate.”

The NRB Debate will also include an expert panel discussing how the right board structure and non-exec directors (NEDs) can unlock the potential of the North’s most talented food and drink entrepreneurs. Research has shown there is less of a culture of appointing NEDs in the North as opposed to the South, and evidence seems to indicate that the lack of strong, experienced voices within their businesses stops operators achieving their full potential. The panel will look at what can be done, and how NEDs can and do work.

Once again, the NRB Debate is sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University. “We are proud to sponsor the NRB Debate for the third consecutive year”, said Christopher Mitchell, Principal Lecturer for Hospitality & Senior Learning & Teaching Fellow. “Manchester Met have worked closely with Manchester’s hospitality sector in the design of two new degree courses in Hospitality Business Management and Chartered Managers Degree Apprenticeship in Hospitality.”

The NRB Debate starts at 12pm and includes a buffet lunch. Tickets are priced £55+VAT. Book online at nrbdebate.co.uk

Northern Restaurant & Bar, the North’s biggest hospitality show, returns to Manchester Central 21-22 March for the show’s 17th year. The show welcomes 300 exhibitors, 7,500 industry professionals and includes the NRB Debate (Tues 21 March), the prestigious NRB Top Fifty Awards and a programme of events hosted by organisations including Pro- Manchester, Action Against Hunger and CityCo. Hospitality professionals can register now for free tickets online at northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk

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