Curry houses at risk of disappearing from high streets as costs of living crisis continues to bite

  • Watch Katherine Walker's report

A Bristol curry house owner says independent curry houses could be threatened with closure and disappear from high streets amidst staffing shortages and rising costs.

The UK's 9,000 Indian restaurants inject £3.6billion into the economy but with a weak pound, a shortage of workers and rising inflation, industry experts worry that as many as 7 in 10 could be forced to close for good.

The rising cost of energy is amplifying the industry's challenges, according to a Bristol curry house owner, while the latest figures show three to four Indian restaurants are shutting down every week.

Sujith Dalmeida, Owner of Urban Tandoor, says the cost of living crisis is beginning to feel real, with people within the hospitality sector in particular, really struggling.

He said: " You don't need to be an economist to understand what's happening. A simple taxi driver or a waiter can tell you what is happening

"People are losing their jobs, over Christmas the usual buzz wasn't there - people are really struggling.

"It's just a game of snakes and ladders - but there are more snakes than there are ladders.

"Everywhere you struggle. We had to come out of Brexit then covid now the war.

Sujith went on to explain that the industry was in desperate need of a solution, with businesses clearly showing signs of desperation.

He added: "When you see the boards outside restaurants saying they are shortening the menus and hours are being shortened that's a sign of struggle.

"The community spirit in Bristol is very strong. I come from Bombay where it's the same - people don't allow their restaurants to collapse - but how long can they do that for?"

With more businesses unable to stay afloat Jeffrey Ali, whose family set up the British Curry Awards, says more small independent restaurants need urgent support.

"We think the best solution to the current situation would be to see VAT relief on the hospitality businesses.

"So this is really the best opportunity for the government to help the industry, businesses and consumers across the board and possibly stimulate demand as well."

In a statement - the government said they're already helping with businesses rates relief and support with energy bills.

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