From the well-known chains to the small, independent restaurants that characterise the sector, everyone loves their local takeaway. And as these takeaways embrace new technologies and adapt to our changing appetites, so too do they become increasingly accessible and in demand.
Supporting takeaways to continue to thrive, however, requires a focus on the challenges they face – and that’s why we at Just Eat, the UK’s leading online and mobile platform for takeaway food, formed the British Takeaway Campaign and commissioned the Takeaway Economy Report. This body will provide the takeaway industry with the platform it needs to showcase its growing contribution to our economy and our communities.
As the report shows, the sector continues to grow well above the rate of the rest of the economy. Total UK spending on takeaways reached £9.9 billion in 2016 – a 34% increase on 2009. In the same period, the sector has created 41,000 new jobs – now employing 231,000 people across the UK.
This growth has been driven by the sector’s ability to adapt. The sector has rapidly taken advantage of new technologies – with 72% of takeaway restaurants now using online apps (like Just Eat). This digital revolution within the sector means that consumers have more choice than ever before at their fingertips – promoting a rapid rise in new cuisine options, alongside established favourites.
However, supporting this strong growth will require investment in the sector’s future – particularly in skills. Almost two-fifths of restaurants face skill shortages currently – especially in more skilled positions: 78% of those reporting problems had issues recruiting chefs.
At Just Eat, we’re passionate about tackling these issues and that’s why we’re backing the British Takeaway Campaign, to provide our high street heroes with one voice and celebrate their growing contribution to this country.