Asian Catering Federation Urges London Restaurants To Embrace 24-Hour Economy

curryThe Asian Catering Federation (ACF) which represents 20,000 ethnic restaurants in the UK, has urged its London members to embrace the opportunity all night tubes.

London Major Sadiq Kahn introduced the through-the-night Underground service on 16th August.

With reports of over 50,000 Londoners a night taking advantage of the Underground’s move to 24-hour operation of its Victoria and Central lines, the new potential for restaurateurs close to a tube station is enormous.

The ACF Chairman Yawar Khan, who has urged his members located near a tube station, to rethink their business model ahead of the extension of through the night trains to include the Northern, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines.

“Many restaurants open every lunchtime, but rarely see a customer because of a lack of demand or the failure to offer lighter, less spicy dishes preferred at midday,” said Khan who added, “They would do better by opening later at night or offering breakfast.”

With commuters prepared to pay over £3 for a pre work coffee at chains like Costa, Starbucks and Caffe Nero, Khan believes there is a unique opportunity to provide authentic, healthy breakfast options including fish, yoghurt and fruit.

Khan predicts there could be a resurgence of the kedgeree breakfast, made with haddock, eggs and rice, which was made popular by returning British colonialists who developed a taste for Indian food in Victorian times.

The AFC is not suggesting all restaurants open all night, every night, but only that they should assess the potential – and that those who do change their opening hours –  produce the right dishes, with emphasis on lighter, nutritious options.

“There’s no point is hiring more staff and just staying open – restaurant owners need to plan any change in opening hours and promote themselves effectively.

The market for post pub closing time curry has long gone, as younger customers consume less alcohol and eat healthier foods, than their parents’ generation,” reported Khan.

The country’s best ethnic restaurants will be feted by the ACF at its annual Asian Curry Awards ceremony.  Winners will be unveiled at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Sunday 23rd October.

Curry fans have until 30th September to vote for their favourite.  Votes can be registered by emailing the restaurant name and location to info@asiancurryawards.com, tweeting the restaurant Twitter handle quoting the #asiancurryawards hash tag or online at www.asiancurryawards.com/nomination

The full list of national award categories is:

  • Fine Dining Asian Restaurant of the Year
  • Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year
  • Asian Takeaway/Delivery of the Year
  • Newcomer of the Year (restaurants established less than 3 years)
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Buffet Restaurant of the Year
  • Curry Pub of the Year
  • Chef of the Year
  • Vegetarian Restaurant of the Year
  • Event Caterer of the Year
  • International Asian Restaurant of the Year
  • Maître D’ of the Year

There are also 10 regional awards for the top Asian restaurants in London, London suburbs, South East, South West, East, South Coast, North, Midlands, Wales and Scotland & Northern Ireland.

This year’s supported charities are Curry For Change www.curryforchange.org.uk and Royal Marsden Cancer Charity www.royalmarsden.org.