JUST EAT launches British Takeaway Awards as study shows takeaways are equivalent to 12.5% of foodservice sector

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The UK takeaway industry is worth £9 billion to the UK economy according to the first economic impact assessment of the sector, published today by JUST EAT, the UK’s number one online and mobile marketplace for takeaway food.

The analysis, conducted by independent economists the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), was commissioned by JUST EAT to establish the contribution of the sector to the UK economy in 2014.

The research also shows that the takeaway sector supported more than 220,000 direct jobs in 2014. Adjusting for the proportions of full and part-time jobs, this equals 153,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

Total employment in the takeaway industry rose by 10% from 2012 to 2014 and by nearly 17% over the past five years, mirroring the wider growth the sector has seen. In addition to the people employed directly in the sector, the knock-on economic impact of the industry supports a further 72,000 FTE jobs, of which 38,000 are indirect jobs in the supply chain, and 34,000 are induced jobs in the wider economy. What’s more, the sector is expected to generate another 30,000 jobs over the next five years.

Graham Corfield, UK managing drector of JUST EAT, said: “We know takeaways contribute a huge amount to our culture but what many don’t realise is the enormous impact takeaway restaurants – often small, independent, and family-run – make to our economy.”

The analysis shows the takeaway sector contributed £4 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy last year, equivalent to one eighth (12.5%) of the entire food services sector (which includes restaurants, cafes, canteens, pubs, bars, events catering and of course takeaways).

In addition, every £1 in GVA generated by the sector stimulated an additional 54p throughout the industry supply chain. When including the spending of takeaway employees and the workers along the sector’s supply chain, each £1 of takeaway GVA supports an additional £1.08 of GVA. Taking account of these multiplier effects, the total contribution of the takeaway sector is estimated at £8.3bn in 2014 – equivalent to 0.5% of UK GDP last year.

The size of the takeaway industry, and the jobs it supports, compare favourably with other parts of the economy. At £9bn, the sector is worth more than other service industries like design (£5.7bn) and hairdressing and beauty (£4.7bn). In jobs terms, the takeaway sector is around a third larger than the insurance industry (153,000 FTE jobs vs. 98,100 FTE jobs), and and roughly the same size as the UK’s regular armed forces (156,630 people).

Corfield continued: “The takeaway sector rightly deserves to be recognised and championed as one of the key industries supporting small businesses across the UK and this is why JUST EAT has launched the British Takeaway Awards – the first ever multi-cuisine takeaway awards in the UK.”

The British Takeaway Awards will take place on 9th November at The Savoy in London, where 250 of the most celebrated names in British takeaway food will come together to applaud the success of Britain’s best independent takeaway businesses. In total 15 awards will be presented; made up 13 regional awards for the best loved takeaway restaurants locally, a special recognition award, and the most coveted of the prizes, the best takeaway restaurant in Britain.

A supporter of the British Takeaway Awards is Ibrahim Dogus, founder and director of the Centre for Turkey Studies, and the British Kebab Awards. Dogus said:  “As an entrepreneur and supporter of small businesses, I understand the hard work and contribution independent local takeaways bring to their community. It’s important for the entire industry to come together to celebrate their focus on quality. I welcome the launch of the British Takeaway Awards and look forward to celebrating the industry’s success in providing customers with great tasting food and excellent service.”

Corfield said: “A takeaway is the cornerstone of a great British night in. But there’s never been one set of multi-cuisine awards voted for by consumers to recognise these takeaway restaurants, until now. If you love your local takeaway – whether its a Sushi, Chinese or Indian – vote for it on www.theBTAs.co.uk and help your favourite takeaway restaurant receive the recognition it deserves.”

Reflecting the industry’s continuing development, there is an ever increasing variety of food on offer at the UK’s takeaway restaurants. JUST EAT processed more than 45.5morders in the UK last year and, with more than 90 cuisines available on JUST EAT, the company has seen strong order growth across a surprising range of foods. For example, African food, which first became available in 2012, saw a 150% growth in orders between 2013 and 2014 and Brazilian food experienced a 150% increase in orders in 2010. With such diversity, it’s little surprise the UK sector has grown so rapidly and continues to do so.

Restaurant case study

  1. Gym’s Kitchen

Steven Mavrou is one of the joint owners of Gym’s Kitchen, the UK’s first protein based restaurants with branches in Leyton and Gants Hill.

“I’d been running my own catering equipment and restaurant design business, and along with two other friends from the leisure and hospitality industry, had become frustrated by the lack of healthy food outlets on the high street. We decided to do something about that and opened Gym’s Kitchen in August 2012.

“We wanted to bring healthy and affordable food to the high street, and don’t believe you should have to compromise taste to eat well. So we hired the award-winning chef Champ Wongwai and renowned nutritionist Matt Lovell, who has worked with the England Rugby Union team and Manchester City Football Club, to put together a nutritional and calorie counted menu to suit every need.

“We only use fresh ingredients and prepare everything on site daily in an open plan kitchen. Our menu offers fast, simple and healthy meals, broken down for those with an eye on their daily intakes. We aim to provide genuine choice and support a range of nutritional goals, and so researched more than 50 different diets, including those of a Premiership footballer, long distance female runner and a professional body builder when developing our menu.

“We have been with JUST EAT for just under three years, and have seen a huge benefit to our business over that time. We’ve found that leaflet drops provide a minimal return, but with JUST EAT we’re seeing great customer awareness and people ordering from us who never would otherwise. We are primarily a dine-in restaurant so having a delivery and collection option is a great side-business for us, especially during the middle of the week, when restaurants are often less busy.

“The whole process of receiving an order through JUST EAT is much easier than over the telephone too. Everything is already paid for and all the customer’s details like the postcode, delivery address and telephone number are there. Overall I would 100% recommend JUST EAT, no other online ordering service provides anything like their impact.”

Commenting on the launch of the Takeaway Economy Report, Mavrou said: “Independent, local businesses like ours are the lifeblood of Britain’s high streets and economy. We are a valuable source of jobs and growth and it’s great to see our hard work recognised by this report. Gym’s Kitchen is the UK’s first protein based restaurant, and our success also shows the increasing diversity of the restaurant scene in this country. We’d be delighted if our loyal customers love our restaurant enough to nominate us for a British Takeaway Award.”