In cities, towns and villages across the country, takeaway restaurants are flourishing.
From my own background starting and growing independent restaurants in London, I can speak with first-hand experience of the dynamism of a sector where small, family-run businesses compete with international chains.
Having made a career bringing new tastes to British consumers, I can also testify to the vibrancy of a market defined by ever-greater choice, convenience and responsiveness to consumer demands.
As the sector grows in size, and scope, this has an impact not just on our culinary options for a night in, but on the health of our economy – with the sector supporting £9.4 billion of new growth (new GVA or gross value added) to the UK.
But as the sector grows, the challenges it faces also grow in importance. Whilst takeaway spending is expected to hit £11.2 billion in 2021, barriers to growth – from skills shortages to an unwieldly business rates system – remain a headache for many budding entrepreneurs in the sector, which we need to tackle.
This is why I am proud, along with the other founding members to help launch the new British Takeaway Campaign (BTC) – a new body representing all those involved in the supply and preparation of takeaway food. It brings together independent restaurants and major players in the sector, including Just Eat, to ensure we are working together to tackle the challenges takeaways face.
These include getting the right skills training in place for the sector, ensuring an immigration system that addresses areas of genuine skill shortage, rather than simply being focused on skill level. And we want to get more young British people fired up about working in this exciting industry by ensuring they get the right training to build successful careers in the sector.
The BTC will seek to safeguard our industry’s future success and I am delighted to be the first Chair on this exciting journey.
Ibrahim Dogus, Chair, British Takeaway Campaign