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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 10th Jul 2017 - Takeaway sector unites to call on government to back £9.4bn industry
Takeaway sector unites to call on government to back £9.4bn industry: The British Takeaway Campaign (BTC), a new industry umbrella body led by Just Eat that launched today (Monday, 10 July), has urged the government to recognise its economic, social and cultural contribution to the UK and to back its growth by boosting training and access to skills. New research, commissioned by Just Eat for the BTC, revealed takeaway restaurants directly contributed £4.5bn in gross value added contributions to GDP in 2016 – an increase of 38% since 2009. That rises to £9.4bn when factoring in the multiplier effect of supply-chain and employee spending – equivalent to 0.5% of GDP. The report also revealed spending on takeaways in the UK supports 231,350 jobs, with 41,000 jobs created since 2009. The public spent £9.9bn on takeaways last year, predicted to grow to £11.2bn by 2021 and create 30,000 jobs. Despite this, the BTC said many smaller businesses faced a challenging operating environment as skills shortages, business rates and inflation start to bite. The BTC has called on the government to introduce measures such as ensuring vocational training is relevant to the industry, addressing skills shortages, and ensuring the immigration system enables the sector to access the skills it needs from within and outside the EU. More than one-third (37%) of those surveyed believed the UK’s decision to leave the EU would make it harder to recruit staff, while 29% said they needed to recruit skilled labour from outside the EU. The BTC has also called for an overhaul of the business rates regime to make it fairer and more transparent, including more frequent revaluations. The report showed spend and tastes vary across the UK, with London and the south east the biggest takeaway markets, spending £2.7bn, followed by the north west (£1.1bn). Almost 35,000 outlets use apps, with more than a third (39%) stating it has led to a rise in deliveries outside normal meal times. Takeaways are increasingly catering for consumer demand for healthier options, with 73% offering smaller portions, 65% offering lower fat, and 59% offering low-salt options. BTC chairman Ibrahim Dogus 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. 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 – an immigration system that addresses areas of genuine skills shortages rather than focuses on skill levels alone.”

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