Ask the experts with...

Tracey Howes - London Restaurant Network

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your achievements and how you came to be where you are now? Where did your passion for food come from?

My passion for food and hospitality comes from spending time in the kitchen with my mother who was always baking and entertaining in my hometown of Durban, South Africa.

My career path included 9 years in retail and fashion until I relocated to the UK in 1999. In between travelling, I worked in various guises in hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, private members clubs and catering companies which provided broad experience, training and invaluable insights into the industry. I worked with a British luxury concierge company before moving into partnership marketing and events for a Pan-European luxury brand network. I have been fortunate to work with inspiring, entrepreneurial mentors who gave me the guidance and confidence to start my own business.

I launched a consultancy in my name in 2010 advising hospitality businesses on marketing, PR, social media and event strategies. I regularly present on how to use social media for business and lecture on the subject at one off London's top chef training schools which is a hugely enjoyable. See more here.

In 2014 I co-founded the London Restaurant Network a membership organization for restaurant professionals along with my business partner, Fabio Adler.

I enjoy attending trade shows, supper clubs and pop-up dining experiences to discover the latest food, drinks and service trends. Highlights of my career so far include my nomination for the South African Chamber of Commerce UK Women in Business Award. Sadly, I can’t say the same for my scones!

What were your top 3 things from the Restaurant Show?

1. A great opportunity to meet key suppliers

2. Discover trends and new products

3. Network with your peers

What single golden piece of advice would you offer to brands exhibiting at any trade show, and The Restaurant Show in particular?

Use social media to shout about your presence and network with other exhibitors and visitors before, during and after the show. Twitter in particular is brilliant for this.

...and finally, apart from the many exciting outings with the LRN, where and how do you love to relax?

I recently learned SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) and I'm hooked. Anything on or below the water I find incredibly relaxing.

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