Market Digest

Many Bangladeshis jobless in UK as restaurants closed: Survey

Staff Correspondent

21 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Many Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants in the United Kingdom fear that sales will not return to pre-pandemic levels even after the lifting of restrictions, risking a spike in unemployment in Asian communities.

British Curry awards survey said Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants suffered badly during last year’s lockdowns.

Seven in eight restaurants saw their sales decline, the vast majority – about 86 percent- by up to 75 percent of revenue.

More than 42 percent of restaurants lost between a quarter and half their revenue.

There are concerns this could cause more restaurants to shut.

Closures have been commonplace in recent years because of the shortage of skilled curry chefs.  The findings add to calls for the appointment of a hospitality minister to support the wider restaurant and pub industry through this crisis. British Curry Awards founder Enam Ali said that the curry industry has been devastated by the pandemic, with thousands of restaurants losing up to three-quarters of their revenue last year.

Confidence of recovery is incredibly low and comes after years of restaurants shutting at a rate of at least two a week because of a shortage of skilled chefs.

Closures are particularly damaging for Asian people, creating huge pockets of unemployment in Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani communities.

 “We now risk far more neighbourhood restaurants shutting their doors for good, wrecking what has been one of the country’s culinary success stories – the sector is worth more than £5bn to the UK economy,” Enam Ali.

He empahised on the need of the government support to save “the great British tikka masala.”

“The appointment of a dedicated hospitality minister focused on a strategy to guide us through the recovery would be a huge first step,” said Enam Ali.