Takeaways worth £500,000 to NI economy every year
On average, people in the north spend £55 a month on takeaways
On average people in the North spend £55 a month on takeaways compared to an average UK spend of £30. (Photograph: iStock)
Northern Ireland’s ever increasing appetite for takeaway food supports more than 7,800 local jobs and is worth an estimated £510,000 (€576,000) to the economy every year, according to the first report to examine the North’s expanding takeaway industry.
The report commissioned by Just Eat, the online food delivery service, for a new industry group - the British Takeaway Campaign - shows that takeaway enthusiasts in Northern Ireland spend more money per household compared to any other part of the UK.
On average people in the North spend £55 a month on takeaways, with Chinese food the most popular choice, compared to an average UK spend of £30 a month or £36 a month in London.
According to the new research in the last four years there has been a “takeaway boom” in Northern Ireland - with spending on takeaway orders soaring by 18.8 per cent.
The report, which is based on analysis from London’s Centre for Economics and Business Research and a wide ranging survey of takeaway restaurants, shows that total UK spending on takeaway was estimated to top £9.9 billion last year.
Overall the takeaway sector in the UK currently employs 231,350 people which the British Takeaway Campaign claims is more than telecoms, advertising and Premier League football.
According to the Just Eat report when measured by GVA takeaways contributed £4.65 billion to the UK economy in 2016.
Ibrahim Dogus, chair of the British Takeaway Campaign, says spending on takeaways in the UK is expected to grow to £11.2 billion by 2021 which will bring in more revenue and help to create more jobs, but he is also warning there are challenges ahead - not least from Brexit.
The British Takeaway Campaign says the industry is worried that when Britain leaves the EU the “flow of labour” will be restricted which is likely to result in more skills shortages.
Currently one in every four takeaway businesses in the UK have recruited employees from outside of the UK to work in their restaurants.
The report predicts that if current eating trends continue up to 30,000 new jobs could be created across takeaway businesses in the UK by 2021.