Today will see the launch of the British Takeaway Campaign (BTC), a new industry body which is already calling on the government to pay more attention to takeaway businesses.
Headed by delivery app Just Eat, the BTC has conducted a study compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research on the value of the takeaway sector.
It reveals that takeaway restaurants directly contributed £4.5bn in gross value added contributions to the UK's economy, which rises to £9.4bn when factoring in the supply chain and employee spending.
“Takeaways up and down the country contribute billions to growth and are behind thousands of jobs. But many are being hamstrung by skills shortages, rising food and wage costs, as well as business rates,” said Ibrahim Dogus, restaurateur and chair of the BTC.
The industry body is asking the government to make sure the correct vocational training is available to address skills shortages in areas such as curry, sushi, Chinese food and fish frying.
It has also called for the government to ensure that the immigration system allows access to skills, for example by revising the Occupational Shortage List, and to overhaul the current business rates regime “to make it fairer and more transparent”.
Spending on takeaways across the UK supports 231,350 jobs, according to the BTC report – more than telecoms, advertising and premier league football.
The public spent £9.9bn on takeaways last year, a figure which is expected to row to £11.2bn by 2021.
But while the sector is bullish about its future, more than one third of the takeaways surveyed by Just Eat said they were experiencing skills shortages for chefs, front-of-house staff and delivery drivers.
"While the government’s move to clarify the status of EU nationals is a welcome step, more needs to be done to ensure takeaways can access the skills they need," said Dogus.