Vegan takeaway orders have almost quadrupled in the space of two years amid sustained growth in the delivery sector.
Research from the British Takeaway Campaign, an umbrella group launched by Just Eat in 2017 that incorporates other sector representatives, has revealed a 388% increase in vegan takeaway orders between 2016 and 2018, while vegetarian orders increased by 138%.
Meanwhile average spend also increased in 2018, with households spending around £38 per month on takeaway food across the period, a 25% rise on the decade prior.
Growth has also been seen among operators, with the number of restaurants increasing by 25% and a 5% increase in the number of jobs. Some 40% of new operators were found to be first-time entrepreneurs.
The research comes as the group looks to convince the government to further support the sector, warning that education and immigration pathways must be available to continue to feed into the workforce to support takeaway dining.
Citing concern from operators over staffing, the document goes on to suggest the government bring forward the introduction of the catering and hospitality T-levels to 2021, and introduce strategic skills lists as part of a new immigration system after Brexit.
Ibrahim Dogus, chair of the BTC, said: “The takeaway sector has firmly established itself as an engine room of the UK economy – providing growth, jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs to start up their own thriving businesses.
“And as people look for healthier and more diverse eating options, they aren’t turning away from takeaways – they are turning towards them.
“What we need from the government are policies that support this Great British success story. That means more vocational training for young Brits and an immigration system that ensures that skilled chefs can come to the UK too.”
Rahul Sharme, Ddirector of the Regency Club, Edgware, added: “Staffing is undoubtedly the biggest issue for us. The type of food we serve demands specialist chefs, which is a skillset not many UK-trained caterers currently possess. We’ve had to look abroad for our chefs, but the current government restrictions have been a huge barrier. We hope that any future changes to the rules will allow us to bring in the chefs we need so we can keep serving our community.”