|All right, it's in Keighley!|
Analyst Peter Backman, of Horizons FS, says that while the restaurant industry has just stopped growing, the Indian restaurant sector is doing even worse, with profits falling. Pat Chapman, founder of the Curry Club, and author of the Good Curry Guide, notes, "You just instinctively know they are struggling", while Backman adds that he is "increasingly gloomy" about the sector's outlook for the next few years, believing Indian restaurants will "continue to lose share to the rest of the eating out market" if the recession continues.
- The Indian restaurant business hasn’t innovated – everywhere we go there’s the same menu, a seemingly endless list of variations on rogan josh, CTM and balti this and that.
- The children of the industry don’t want to work there preferring other jobs with shorter hours and earlier nights
- The government’s immigration policies mean that the tradition of importing chefs from the sub-continent has broken down and there simply aren’t the chefs to fill the hole
Ranjit Mathrani, the chief executive of Masala World, which employs 5,000 people and, among others, owns London's Veerasawamy, the country's oldest surviving Indian restaurant, claims the chef shortage has brought the group's expansion up short as surely as the recession.
The company, he points out, could not use "curry college" chefs, because they only allow chefs to cook dishes from their home regions, he says, so they can offer their customers authentic Indian food.