Home 2017-05-08T02:04:38+00:00
Asian Cuisine Restaurants
Contribution to the Economy

Britain’s Asian restaurant industry is in crisis due to a targeted clampdown on Specialist Chefs from non-EU countries conspired by government distortion and rejection of genuine skill needs.

The majority of UK’s estimated 30,000 Asian cuisine restaurants are experiencing a staffing crisis with many successful businesses no longer able to operate. Many are able to meet official salary stipulation but are blocked by senseless and underhanded government ruling. A recent Mintel report affirms that Asian restaurants must promote authenticity which suggests specialist skills are vital for sustainability and well as to remain a specialist in the face of non-specialist outlets imitating Asian cuisine. The report, therefore, points out authenticity as being a key factor behind the popularity of Asian restaurants and equivalent takeaway sector. This is an undeniable truth of the need for skills. The Mintel report also states the following;

  • Authenticity is a core attribute when it comes to diners expectations of Asian restaurants
  • 78% of diners see the need for expert Chefs in Asian restaurants
  • Usage of Asian restaurants is high, with 81% having ordered take away or home delivery from a restaurant and 79% having eaten in one.
  • Home dining is growing faster and winning a bigger share of consumer spending. Most sales are generated from restaurants offering collection and delivery services.
  • Wagamama launches biggest ever campaign to promote take away services.
  • The advent of online ordering and delivery platforms Just Eat and Deliveroo has massively engaged the restaurant industry in home dining, including high-quality fine dining establishments.
  • This is substantial proof of evolving market demands.

A Home Office spokesman is quoted in a recent newspaper article as saying “We continue to welcome the very top chefs who promote innovative and authentic cuisine here in the UK — and these type of skilled cooks are on the shortage occupation list.” However, this comment is disingenuous.

Though Specialist Chefs are on the government’s immigration Shortage Occupation List it disqualifies restaurants that do Take Away, Delivery, Buffet Dining, and Event Catering as NOT having sufficient specialist skill needs.

It beggars belief that many businesses have been penalised by having their sponsor licences revoked simply because of collection and delivery, thereby resulting in loss of salaried skilled Chefs (who consequently face deportation).

We are not advocating all your staffing needs be met solely by overseas Chefs. We believe your industry cannot be wholly dependent on imported labour and must address basic skill needs within the UK labour market. This is why we are working on a nationwide Training & Development programme and devising a National Curry Apprenticeship scheme to create Curry, Tandoori and Pan Asian Chefs.

Many Home Office officials question why your industry is not tapping into supposedly ‘hundreds of millions’ of available workers inside EU. This is a completely ignorant and irrational view.

Contrary to Home Office view one cannot force a Brit, East European, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese to work for you if that person does not want to become a Chef regardless of training and salary offered.  It is also patronising to imply a mobilisation of Britain’s Asians into becoming Chefs just because they happen to populate the country.

In other words, an experienced Chef is skilled if the customer dines in the restaurant, but the same Chef is NOT skilled if the customer dines at home!

The upsurge in home dining thanks to organisations such as Just Eat, Hungry House, Kukd.com and Deliveroo has been a lifeline in generating extra sales.

The terms ‘fast food’ and ‘standard fare’ as in immigration rules applies to any form of volume production and thereby rules out Development / Technical / Consultant Chefs needed in the food manufacturing industry.

Businesses are NOT seeking to add to immigration numbers as only a temporary work visa route is sought.

Despite offering attractive salaries and working conditions, businesses simply can’t compete with rivals who employ staff that are not declared and the labour market is inadvertently boosted by Home Office policies.

A modicum of imported labour on a temporary basis would act as a competitive lever to dissuade UK settled workers from making illicit demands and take up formalised employment.

The Home Office are in disarray in their interpretation of skills and cack-handed enforcement of ruinous counter- productive rules.

Current government policy and policy enforcement is a cynical attack on a chronically overtasked and chronically under resourced business community that has an inevitable reliance on international expertise and skills. It is a pity that a successful industry that employs hundreds thousands of people directly and indirectly and estimated to generate over £5 billion in sales (therefore £1 billion in vat revenue) is treated with such contempt.