Curry trade body attacks takeaway delivery companies for ‘killing restaurants’

4th June 2024

The Asian Catering Federation [ACF] has criticised  restaurant takeaway delivery platforms for undermining  the hospitality sector, and in turn High Street trade in general, ahead of a presentation to leading chefs and restaurants at the House of Lords.

ACF committee member, Binod Baral, a Goodwill Ambassador for the Ghurka Centre in London, said: “Delivery companies don’t need a multitude of restaurants on the high street – a single dark kitchen cooking a variety of cuisines  on an industrial estate suits their needs.”

As many retail outlets have migrated to the net and abandoned High Street locations, hospitality businesses are now prime drivers of customer footfall to town centres. But with restaurants, bars, restaurants and takeaways hit hard by rising costing and hard pushed customers suffering from the cost-of-living crisis, many once thriving  High Streets are resembling ghost towns with boarded up windows and ubiquitous ‘To Let’ signs.

Former restaurateur turned hospitality consultants Rajesh Suri (ex COO Tamarind Collection and Grand Trunk Road) said: “Delivery service platforms have become  multi million pounds industries with huge profits, as our small takeaways and restaurants businesses faced with commission charges of up to 35%, are closing. This is driving down food quality as business owners are using cheaper ingredients in attempt to make a profit.”

Just Eat has recently ended sponsorship awards programmes of the ACF and several other hospitality organisations.

“We have been extremely grateful for Just Eat’s generous support for our campaigns that have help raise culinary standards across the sector, but negative mumblings from our members about ‘exorbitant’ commission charges, with a focus on prices rather than quality, have been growing ever louder.”

The Federation is also calling on customers to contact favourite takeaways directly and cut out the middleman.

Nutritionists and dieticians have long warned about increasingly sedentary lifestyles, as many home deliveries are consumed unthinkingly, as customer put food in their mouths while they are distracted by TV and computer games. 

Cheap takeaway meals tend to be high in salt, sugar and artificial additives.

A short brisk walk to  collect a meal, rather than wait in for a home delivery, also has many health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure and boost mental health.

In common with several  fine dining restaurants forced  to close their doors during the Covid lockdown, The Cooks Tale (formerly The Ambrette) in Canterbury, had to offer takeaways for the first time.

The Cook’s Tales owner-chef Dev Biswal said: “Becoming a takeaway business suddenly from scratch, we had to create a whole new menu, with little other option than to sign up to Just Eat if we wanted to survive. But the commission payment accounted for a third of our gross profit margin.”

At the special awards lunch at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Kamall, the ACF will step up its encouragement for  members to take responsibility for their own marketing, and branding, grow customer databases, communicate directly, fulfil  their own orders and build customer loyalty.

The Federation will present the winners of its recent Asian & Oriental Chef Awards live cook off competition and the restaurants featuring in its new guide. 

The event will also be used to launch its annual Asian Restaurant Awards being held in Manchester on 27th August and the Asian Curry Awards in London on 17th November. Spice loving members of the public can nominate their favourites at and