Curry is often thought of as a British dish. The chicken tikka masala was born here in the UK. Restaurants that serve Indian food are extremely popular and are a common fixture on the high streets in this country.
But Covid-19, is wreaking havoc and will see some top restaurants close due to the pandemic. Others are suffering huge losses.
Let’s take for example, the Taj Mahal in the market town of Bridport. “The bills still need to be paid and there are so many overheads,” Sarah Ali Choudhury, told the Financial Times newspaper. “We are not sure that we can recover from the past four months. We can only hope that summer season will bring more people,” she added.
Many restaurants are still doing takeaways, but that isn’t enough for many to stay afloat. Aston University in Birmingham said in a report that pp to 30 percent of UK Indian restaurants may struggle to reopen after COVID-19 – putting thousands of venues and tens of thousands of jobs at risk.According to their findings:
Shahab Uddin, who owns Streetly Balti in the West Midlands, said he reckoned as many as 30% of big venues could fall victim to the pandemic if they are no longer able to pack their diners in.
The impact “could actually be worse” according to Professor Monder Ram, Director of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, unless venues invested and raised prices to realistic levels.
The estimates mean up to 2,500 out of around 8,500 Indian restaurants might never reopen, potentially leading to 30,000-plus job losses.
Yet it is interesting so many UK restaurants stepped up to the plate during the pandemic to provide free food to the NHS and other charities.
According to curry industry representatives, British curry houses gave away about five million free meals during the pandemic.
The Mirror newspaper reported that a survey of restaurants by the British Bangladeshi Caterers Association (they also organise the British Curry Awards), found that food worth £45 million had been handed out to the needy, key workers and NHS staff since the first lockdown in March.