Half of UK’s curry houses could shut over the next decade due to British healthy eating trends

Britain’s move to a 'clean-eating' regime has left many curry houses stuck in the 90s, when they were the go-to diners after pubs closed for the night

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The Independent Online

Britain’s much-loved curry industry is facing an existential threat.

According to Yawar Khan, the head of the Asian Catering Foundation which represents more than 35,000 ethnic restaurants and takeaways in the UK, up to 17,000 Indian restaurants are facing closure over the next ten years – a prediction that if proved accurate would deal a major body blow to the UK’s already suffering £4 billion curry industry.

Curry house owners are already struggling to hire chefs from abroad and are already fighting mass closures.

However, Mr Khan has now warned Britain’s korma and vindaloo specialists that their businesses will be in trouble if they don’t revamp dishes to make them healthier.

Britain’s move to a “clean-eating” regime has left many curry houses stuck in the 90s, when they were the go-to diners after pubs closed for the night, according to Mr Khan.

He told the Telegraph: "For years we have been telling restaurants they need to up their game with shorter menus, offering lighter healthier options with more fish and vegetable dishes, with genuinely authentic regional food.”

Ignoring new technology such as Facebook to interact with customers was another way that outlets were falling behind the times, according to Mr Khan.

He added: "British Bangladeshis can be very insular and inward looking. We fail to regard other cuisines as competition and we are slow to adopt new marketing opportunities, such as social media platforms."

He admitted that his warning “won’t go down well with many of my members, who continue to fail to heed warnings and take responsibility for the survival of their businesses.”

According to a recent industry survey, the number of licensed curry restaurants has declined by 13 per cent in the last 18 months, with over 1,000 restaurants closing their doors for good.

Last year, the curry industry, which largely campaigned for the UK to leave the EU, said it felt betrayed by politician over immigration policies in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Oli Khan, chef and owner of three curry houses, previously told the Independent: “It is very disappointing that Brexit campaigners such as Priti Patel and Boris Johnson, who said the curry industry would be better off the EU, have not kept their promises.”

Khan added he that he had had to double the wages of some of his employee due to staff shortages and that he was also battling higher food prices as a result of a collapse in the value of the pound since the June referendum.

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