Cost of Living Kormagedon could close 9,000 curry houses forever

Butter Chicken Curry

The cost of living crisis has hit curry houses across the country (Image: Shutterstock)

Traditional curry houses have been a staple of British culture since the 1970s, but now many are closing at an alarming rate.

Anglicized dishes like chicken tikka masala are a Friday treat for many, but with the rising costs of ingredients, cooking oil and energy, the joints can’t afford to prepare it.

According to Jeffrey Ali, whose family founded the British Curry Awards, 3,000 restaurants have gone under since 2007 – a quarter of all curry restaurants and takeaways.

This is clear to anyone who remembers what Manchester’s Curry Mile and London’s Brick Lane used to look like.

The remaining 9,000 are struggling to survive and Mr Ali fears much worse is yet to come.

He told the Mirror “the industry is in dire need of support,” adding: “At this rate of inflation, we could soon be seeing at least one restaurant a day being closed.”

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in October shows how essential supermarket items are up by almost two-thirds.

Devastating price increases on essential groceries including pasta, chips and bread

ONS data shows how the price of popular groceries has changed over the past 12 months (Image

Pantry vegetable oil has risen in price by a whopping 65.2% – from £1.56 to £2.58.

Meanwhile, tomatoes and onions have seen a nearly 20% increase.

Other staples like bread, milk and tea have also skyrocketed in price.

Yadav Bhandari, owner of Everest Inn in Blackheath, south-east London, said the cost of preparing meals “is skyrocketing” as a result.

He added: “The price of everything is going up. Energy, ingredients and labor cost a lot more.”

Salim Chowdhury has owned and operated Coriander in Harrow, North London for a decade and knows exactly how changes in the market are affecting his business.

He has seen his gas bill go from £2,500 a month to £6,900 and his electricity bill from £1,000 to £1,912. Overall product prices have increased by 30%.

But when Coriander, a nominee for Best South East Restaurant at the British Curry Awards, tried to raise menu prices by 15%, people just complained.

Mr Chowdhury said: “It’s not about making money, it’s about surviving. It’s just about keeping your head above water.’

He recently invested £10,000 of his own money in the company, adding: “I don’t know how long I can do this.”

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Justin Scacco

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