Starting from humble beginnings in 1860 with the opening of Britain’s first fish and chip shop, Britain’s increasing demand for new cuisines has seen the takeaway sector boom. The economic consultancy, the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) estimates the takeaway industry’s worth at an impressive £9.9 billion and found the sector has created 41,000 new jobs since 2009, now employing a record 231,000 people.
Meanwhile, the industry’s cultural influence has proven equally valuable, having transformed Britain’s communities – and the British palate – by injecting new flavours and diversity into our villages, towns and cities.
And the future looks bright for the takeaway industry as the market looks set to grow by an annual average of 2.6% over the next five years and employing an anticipated 250,000 people by 2020, rising above 261,000 by 2021.
But as the sector grows, the challenges it faces also grow in importance and the sector needs support if it is to continue to thrive.
Launched in 2017 and spearheaded by Just Eat, the British Takeaway Campaign (BTC) is an umbrella group representing those involved in the supply and preparation of the nation’s favourite foods. Drawing together major players in the takeaway industry – restaurants, trade associations and supply-chain organisations – the BTC aims to secure recognition of the economic, social and cultural contribution of the sector and help create the conditions for the sector to continue to flourish.
Among the issues the BTC will focus on are: addressing skills shortages, ensuring vocational training meets the needs of the industry, and ensuring the tax regime supports the predominantly small businesses that make up the sector to grow and flourish.