As culinary exports from the Middle East and South Asia, kebabs enjoy great popularity in the UK. But nowadays many restaurants have told Britshish they cannot find and retain the staff to stay open. Even some of food outlets across the country could be forced to close their doors over staff shortage. Moreover, the issue of Brexit has raised concerns, and industry experts worry that it will cause a shortage of skilled chefs in the country. Almost 25% of existing food businesses are currently having trouble finding staff to recruit for the running of their businesses, and this is particularly true for cuisines that need specialists for preparation, such as curries, kebabs, sushi, and fish items.
The British Meat Processors Association has recently stated that finding people to work in meat plants is proving to be difficult. These plants are situated in rural areas where working conditions are not favourable. Compounding the issue is the uncertainty brought on by Brexit that is causing many to look for employment in other countries.
Almost 25% of existing food businesses are currently having trouble finding staff to recruit for the running of their businesses.
The issue affects not only the local workers but also the more specialised chefs. These chefs are moving away to other countries – or perhaps back home – due to the implications of Brexit as well as the rise in xenophobia since the referendum. However, there has been innovation within the kebab industry to make the job easier for workers. Initially, staff would be employed for slicing meat in the traditional way using a knife to make the kebabs. Now, these eateries have invested in a robotic machine called the Dekor Robot that cuts automatically throughout the day. The machine can work round the clock, unlike human workers who may develop fatigue or boredom while carrying out the repetitive task. Not only does this allow for perfect slices, but it also saves energy and time. It also eliminates negative human factors such as sneezing, coughing, touching, etc., and boosts the hygiene rating. The British Magazine has spoken to many restaurant and takeaway owners around the country about the issue. Owners urged the UK government to take steps for preserving the food and kebab industry. The aim is to ensure that the immigration system allows food businesses to hire specialised foreign staff from the European Union and other countries. Restaurant owners stated that almost all of the job applicants to their restaurants in London nonBritish. However, the immigration system would need specific alterations to allow these foreigners to enter the country and get hired. The food industry is currently being squashed under the weight of inflation, and a survey held in 2019 found that over a third of the total ethnic food businesses in the UK believe that the industry’s shortage in staff is directly impacted by Brexit.
Kebab shops are facing a “staffing crisis”
Despite the fact which many industry experts are agree, a golden age for kebab industry in Britain: never before has such a high number of kebab shops been so widely available. This boom, though, is threatened by a chronic shortage of chefs and staff. The hospitality industry is responsible for six million jobs, making it the UK’s fourth biggest employer. But this notoriously precarious business appears to be more topsy-turvy than ever. For every heartening headline: “Record 44 new restaurants set to open across London in September,” from the Evening Standard in September, 2017; there’s a depressing one: “Number of UK restaurants going bust up by a fifth in 2017” from the Guardian last month. The situation, post-Brexit, will only become more complicated. The British Hospitality Association, with help from accountancy firm KPMG, published a report last year which suggests that the sector is staring into a recruitment black hole without EU nationals to bail them out: by 2029, the industry could have a deficit of more than a million workers. The report recommended that the industry will need to find at least another 60,000 workers per year on top of the 200,000 required “to replace churn and to power growth”.