Britain's Curry Crisis
Britain now has nearly 10,000 Indian restaurants, serving two million curry meals a week; having a "curry" is now a weekly tradition for many British families.
However, the growth of the "curry" industry in Britain now faces a threat from a shortage of labour.
The 10,000 curry restaurants in Britain require 20,000 chefs and 40,000 helpers, as a minimum. Unfortunately, these requirements are proving to be too much for restaurants which are struggling to recruit trained/experienced chefs and assistants.
Immigration policies have been toughened up in the last few decades, and the recent terrorist bombings have made immigration authorities reluctant to give out new work permits or renew existing ones.
Such is the crisis that the Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurateurs, which represents 2000 South Asian restaurants, has appealed to Home Secretary to relax immigration rules.
Namita Punjabi, owner of the Chelsea-based Chutney Mary Anglo-Indian restaurant, is reported to have said:
"It is very difficult to get good cooks. We normally just can't find them in this country. And remember that India is the size of Europe. Each area has its own specific types of food. As a company, we can't look for talent in Britain it just doesn't exist."
It may be that the traditional "curry" house will have to start increasing prices, in order to stem demand.