A new industry umbrella body has been launched by Just Eat with the aim of getting the Government to recognise the economic, social and cultural contribution the takeaway sector makes to the UK and to back its growth by boosting training and access to skills.
The British Takeaway Campaign (BTC)
is calling on the Government to ensure vocational training is relevant to the industry and to address skills shortages in fish frying as well as other cuisines such as curry, sushi and Chinese.
Ensuring the immigration system enables the takeaway sector to access the skills it needs from within and outside of the EU is also a key priority, as is overhauling the current business rates regime to make it fairer and more transparent, including more frequent revaluations.
The news comes as research commissioned on behalf of the BTC 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.
The BTC is backed by the National Federation of Fish Friers as well as other major industry bodies representing kebab and curry houses, and pizzerias across the country.
Andrew Crook, vice president at the National Federation of Fish Friers, said: "Independent takeaways play a big part in the British economy and, in a time where many industries are reducing the number of employees they need in favour of automation, catering is still heavily reliant on people. The National Federation of Fish Friers fully supports the British Takeaway Campaign and in particular its aim to help create long-term career paths with structured training and high quality qualifications. We hope the British Takeaway Campaign helps to shine a light on some of the common issues we all face and by working together we can start to address them.”
Graham Corfield, UK MD at Just Eat, which co-founded the BTC, adds: "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.”
The public spent £9.9bn on takeaways last year, a figure which is predicted to grow to £11.2bn by 2021. This is expected to create 30,000 new jobs in a sector which already employs over 230,000.