Takeaway restaurants hit by skills shortages and rising business rates

The sector contributed £4.5bn to economic output last year, claims lobby group.

Britain’s takeaway food sector is being threatened by skills shortages and rising business ratesLaszlo Hanyecz

Britain's takeaway food sector is being threatened by skills shortages, claims an industry body.

These businesses are also being squeezed by rising inflation and business rates, said the British Takeaway Campaign.

Takeaway restaurants contributed £4.5bn ($5.8bn) to economic output last year and employed more than 230,000 workers, according to research commissioned by the UK's largest online takeaway platform Just Eat.

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But the takeaway food lobby said that the industry lacked skilled chefs able to cook such meals as curry and sushi.

It said the government should ensure the immigration system enables the takeaway sector to access the skills it needs from within and outside of the European Union (EU).

It added that business rates should be overhauled to include more frequent revaluations, in a bid to make the levy fairer and more transparent.

Ibrahim Dogus, a restaurateur who chairs the campaign, said: "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."

He added: "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.

"That's why we are calling for an immigration system that addresses areas of genuine skill shortage, rather than one that focuses on skill level alone."

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