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Keynote speakers at the british & International franchise exhibition


Jonathan Newman, CEO and Managing Director, CHI Ventures

Friday 11 March

12:15 - 12:45 | The £100m cheque: manifesting success

An experienced and versatile entrepreneur, Jonathan created iconic brand CHI in 2010, an FMCG drinks company manufacturing coconut water and coconut related products. Within the space of a year CHI was in over 1000 outlets in the UK. By 2014, CHI was selling in over 30 countries and was showing growth of 250% every year. CHI is now for sale in over 4000 UK outlets and continues to grow.

A filmmaker by trade, Jonathan has 20 years experience directing films for the cinema, including the recent $25m action adventure film The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, starring Michael Sheen and Sam Neill.

Following the success of CHI, more and more young entrepreneurs hunted Jonathan down for advice, wanting to understand how they could replicate the incredible and rapid success of the business. Jonathan continues to run CHI and also now mentors and consults brand owners wishing to grow their business. He also serves as Non-Exec director on businesses he believes have strong growth potential.


Richard Forte, Chief Operations Officer, McDonald's UK

Friday 11 March

13:15 - 13:45

Richard Forte is currently the COO for McDonald's UK. He took up his role in November 2008 and has responsibility for managing the day-to-day running of all 1,200 UK restaurants, including strategic, tactical and short-term operations management and improvement.

As Chief Operations Officer, Richard has responsibility for managing the day-to-day running of all 1,200 restaurants in the UK, including strategic, tactical and short-term operations management and improvement. Richard also oversees the National Operations, Security, Health & Safety, Restaurant Services and Franchising departments, and assumed responsibility for the UK’s IT function in October 2013.



John Aizlewood, Chief Development Officer, Pizza Hut UK & Ireland

Friday 11 March 

13:45 - 14:15 | Working for one of the largest Franchisor's for over 20 years, John shares his views on what makes a long lasting Franchise business

John started his professional life with Deloitte and Touche, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, and working in their Forensic Accounting division. Soon after qualifying John joined PepsiCo Restaurants in Finance. He progressed through various Finance positions before moving into Operations with KFC. From KFC he moved to look after the Central European and Russian markets for KFC and Pizza Hut, returning to KFC a few years later where he moved back into an Operations role, quickly followed by moves into Franchise and Development. From KFC he moved across to Pizza Hut, where he has held Operations, Franchise and Development roles, and is currently the Chief Development Officer.

Frank Romano, Sales Operations & Franchise Director

Friday 11 March

12:35 - 13:15 | Harry Ramsden's - The Next Generation Franchise 

As part of the firm’s ambitious growth strategy, in 2014 Frank Romano was appointed to the newly created position of Franchise Director at Harry Ramsden’s, the iconic British brand, world famous for its fish and chips.

Widely respected within the hospitality and leisure industry, Frank joined from Little Chef, where prior to its return to profit and subsequent sale, he was Chief Operating Officer, reporting to the Chairman & Main Board.

Frank’s expertise and experience is further underlined in the positions he has held working alongside leading business figures including leisure tycoon Trevor Hemming’s where he enjoyed success as Managing Director at Hemmings’ Herald Inns and Bars which included the legendary Brannigans night club brand.

Today, Frank works with a close knit team at Harry Ramsden’s - a brand very much in the ascendancy, having successfully re-positioned within the market and acknowledged by commentators as one of the most exciting brands in the country.

With his wealth of experience and first class track record, Frank is charged with accelerating the company’s ambitious franchising model both nationally and internationally to meet clearly defined goals. Recently, Harry Ramsden’s announced plans to open over 300 new outlets - over one third of which will be franchised - within the next few years.