The two-day hospitality industry annual event was due to begin tomorrow

Due to the current circumstances regarding social distancing in the face of coronavirus, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar show have regretfully announced that they have been left with no option but to postpone this year’s event.

Although understandable, this decision will be a blow to many of the thousands of hospitality businesses that benefit from exhibiting at, networking and visiting the two-day event, which features a series of talks, demos and tastings at Manchester Central. This year marked the 20th year of the trade-only show, which is visited every year by thousands of people working in all areas involved with food and drink including chefs, producers, retailers, business owners, bar tenders, front of house workers and suppliers to the restaurant trade.

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Hundreds of exhibitors were expected at the event

Up until today’s decision was made, organisers were insisting that the NRB20 would go ahead because it was needed more than ever in a period which is likely to challenge many retailers, restaurants, bars, cafes across the world over the coming weeks. 

A series of panel talks had been organised to help guide and advise the industry on crisis management in the face of current events. A number of prominent guest chefs from all over the north west were booked in to do live demonstrations and speakers such as Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge were due to take part in the Brentwood debate. NRB is also where organisers announce the annual Top 50 hospitality power list.

The government is expected to announce that all mass gatherings and events are to be postponed very soon. Organisers have promised that new dates for a rescheduled NRB later this year will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Thom Hetherington, CEO, Holden Media who organise the annual Northern Restaurant & Bar Show

The statement in full

The escalating situation regarding COVID-19 means that regretfully there is no option but to postpone NRB20. We are in discussion with our venue, Manchester Central, and will announce new dates to our visitors, exhibitors, sponsors and partners imminently.

Visitor pre-registration has been running at near record levels up until this morning, with almost two thousand hospitality professionals registering in the last week alone and the majority of our exhibitors committed to attend. But understandably anticipated government updates change everything, and we must react immediately and decisively. The welfare of all remains our utmost priority.

These are incredibly challenging times for the region’s hospitality industry, and NRB has been a part of it, through good times and bad, for twenty years. We exist to inform, support and inspire the North’s leading operators, so feel a responsibility that our next edition of NRB will be our most vital yet. We will not let the industry down.

Right now, our thoughts are with you and your teams, and all of those working within the hospitality industry, in these incredibly uncertain and challenging times.

In order to help us manage this safely we ask that any queries regarding operational issues only including breakdown of stands, collection of items, deliveries etc please email We ask for your patience while we deal an expected high level of calls and emails.

Thom Hetherington, CEO, Holden Media

Issued 16 March 2020

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