The British Takeaway Campaign (BTC), a new industry umbrella body led by Just Eat, launched today (Monday), urging the Government to recognise its economic, social and cultural contribution to the UK and to back its growth by boosting training and access to skills.
New research, commissioned by Just Eat for the BTC, and compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), reveals takeaway restaurants directly contributed £4.5bn in gross value added (GVA) contributions to GDP in 2016 – an increase of 38% since 2009. That rises to £9.4 billion when factoring in the multiplier effect of supply-chain and employee spending – equivalent to 0.5% of GDP and more than the holiday industry and passenger air travel.
But despite the burgeoning sector creating record numbers of jobs, its many smaller businesses are facing a challenging operating environment as skills shortages, business rates and inflation are starting to bite. Among the measures the BTC is calling on the Government to introduce are:
- Ensuring vocational training is relevant to the industry and addresses skills shortages in cuisines like curry, sushi, Chinese and fish frying;
- Ensuring the immigration system enables the takeaway sector to access the skills it needs from within and outside of the EU. For example, by revising the Occupational Shortage List to include specialist chefs in shortage cuisines, such as curry, who are seeking employment in takeaway restaurants;
- Overhauling the current business rates regime to make it fairer and more transparent, including more frequent revaluations.
Graham Corfield, UK MD at Just Eat said:
“Everyone loves their local takeaway, but few would realise these small, often family-run businesses, are behind so much of the UK’s economic growth. These high street heroes have experienced a digital revolution enabling them to offer even more choice and convenience. British consumers are now increasingly enjoying North African and Middle Eastern takeaways – with orders for Syrian food increasing ten-fold since 2014. That’s alongside firm favourites like Italian, Chinese and Indian and all at the touch of a button. This report shows that with the right policies from the Government, the takeaway sector can continue to thrive.”