Peter Backman Managing Director
Peter is the Managing Director of Horizons, an expert on the structure and dynamics of the foodservice sector, and its supply chain, in the UK and across Europe. He is responsible for the company’s vision and driving the business forward. He has been involved, as a researcher and consultant within the sector, for over 30 years blending his knowledge with a deep understanding of the trends, key players and challenges of organisations with an interest in foodservice.
He regularly speaks at conferences worldwide and his views are sought by television, radio, the Bank of England and the press. Peter has many innovations to his credit having been the first person to define the structure of the eating out market in the terms which are now widely used by the industry, as well as the most extensive database model of the foodservice sector.
Peter is the past Chairman of Arena, the pan-industry networking organisation that he was instrumental in setting up twenty five years ago. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and a member of the Market Research Society.
He is happily married, the proud father of two children and when not at work, can be found in the gym or investigating his family history.
Alan Wick Director of Strategy
Alan leads Horizons' strategic thinking having gained over 25 years' business experience as an entrepreneur nationally and internationally. He founded, co-founded or invested in four businesses, each of which was sold or turned around successfully. He was Managing Director of a professional audio manufacturing company and worked all over the world setting up and growing an international distribution network. For several years he was based in New York as President of the US distribution arm; this contributed to the company winning the Queen's Award for Export Achievement, the first in its field to do so.
As joint Managing Director of Scher International, Alan worked with hospitality and foodservice clients such as Hilton, Café Rouge, Marriott, Pret A Manger and Whitbread, measuring, advising and training them on customer service quality. While there, he developed the UK's first Customer Service Benchmark for Hotels, for which he was awarded a Fellowship of the Institute of Hospitality. He later built up his own successful coaching and consulting practice.
His experience and skills enable him to drive depth and rigour into business transformation and lead strategy planning and implementation by maximising operational efficiency, sharpening market positioning and increasing capacity while keeping overheads under tight control.
Alan is a proud father and enjoys connecting with his passion of playing the drums. He is an avid football fan (modesty forbids him mentioning which team) and he enjoys hiking, skiing and scuba diving.
Michelle Diederichs Marketing Communications
Michelle is responsible for implementing marketing communications at Horizons, which includes social media, events and direct marketing. She has more than 13 years experience in communications, working across a range of sectors including financial services, IT, public sector, food and drink. In the past four years she has focused on the foodservice sector, working for businesses such as Unilever Food Solutions, Electrolux Professional, United Coffee UK and the industry charity, Hospitality Action.
Her time spent in top agencies has helped Michelle to develop a depth of experience in communicating to different audiences through a variety of channels. She now specialises in delivering tailored campaigns to both operators and suppliers in the foodservice sector.
Michelle lives in Streatham, South London with her husband and dreams of having a dog. Her pastimes include walking, reading, eating out, art, music and going to the gym.
Liz Land Head of Data Production
Liz is responsible for the collection, management and production of Horizons foodservice data. Liz has managed data in one form or another since her first job looking specifically at Year 2000 compatibility for several high profile clients. Liz has worked for Horizons since 2011 and has developed extensive knowledge of the foodservice industry and the processes used to provide the analysts with the data to answer specific industry focussed questions. As the token vegetarian Liz has a good knowledge of the meat-free side of the foodservice industry.
Liz lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband and young daughter. When the weather permits she can often be found running down (and walking up the hills) with her three dogs. Working for Horizons and living up North means that she also shows a keen interest in the restaurant ‘goings-on’ in the Manchester region.