Whether you’re thinking of entering the food-to-go market for the first time or are one of the country’s 18,000 café and sandwich shop owners looking to beef up your offer, Café+ is an important date for your diary.

A new part of the established Convenience Retailing Show, Café+ provides an opportunity to learn from experts and successful retailers and meet suppliers - which should all help drive customers to your shop. Companies such as Brakes, Coffee Nation and Subway will be on hand to give best practice advice via seminars, panel discussions and live demonstrations, all put together by Max Jenvey, mana-ging director of Oxxygen Marketing Partnership. They will be discussing those all-important factors such as layout, product selection and space versus profitability.

Café+Live seminars include: Coffee from Convenience to Café; Sandwiches - everything you’ve always wanted to know but haven’t asked; and Bakery from Convenience to Café, where bakery experts will detail the best options for your store or café.

Jill Willis, who with husband Richard owns Taste (UK) and was named Essex Best New Company 2008, will talk about her experiences running a successful café, while in another seminar, retail giant Subway will share the key industry requirements for developing a freshly prepared sandwich offer, using itself as a case study. There are also debates you can join in, on the coffee and sandwich markets, when development director Martin Kibler of Greggs will reveal what makes the British Baker Top 50 winner such a success.

"Everyone says there is money to be made from coffee and foodservice, but there is only money there if you get it right," says event director Matthew Butler, of organiser William Reed Business Media. "Our aim, with Café+Live, is to arm operators with the practical advice and information they need to turn what they have into a more effective and profitable offer."

’Take More, Make More’ is another live event where you can share ideas and knowledge with other retailers and suppliers on how to increase footfall in your store and other relevant issues to help make more profit. Sessions will be run by Convenience Store magazine, the Association of Convenience Stores and many other top industry specialists.

There will also be plenty of bakery firms exhibiting at the show, including Warburtons, Brambles Foods and Cakes for the Connoisseur. Many of them have new products to show off, such as The Handmade Cake Company, which will launch two new varieties: black cherry & almond slice and a banana cake slice. Meanwhile, Country Choice is introducing its Boston’s coffee and American-style doughnut concept - a selection of yeast-raised, thaw-and-serve doughnuts. The concept comes with branded packaging, POS, a takeaway box and a coffee machine.

? www.cafeplusshow.co.uk


=== Café+ ===

WHERE: Birmingham NEC, halls 6 and 7

WHEN: 1-3 March


Sunday 1 March - 10am to 5pm

Monday 2 March - 10am to 5pm

Tuesday 3 March - 10am to 4pm