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GUESTS


Enam also used the occasion to make two pleas to the government. One was for a reduction in VAT rate for restaurants, to help them get through the recession. “Along with virtually all other sectors in the hospitality industry, we are feeling the squeeze of the spending downturn. If we are not to see our industry contract seriously for the first time, we need some government help to stimulate spending,” he told the audience. “A 5 % VAT cut for the hospitality sector...would help to boost the numbers of people dining out, promote growth, create more jobs and, in turn, bring more money flowing into the exchequer.”


The other request that Enam made was for more assistance in overcoming the recruitment problems caused by the government’s immigration policies. He said:”There may be more than 2½ million people out of work in Britain, but I guarantee that none of them are talented curry chefs. With one in every four chefs’ jobs now vacant, we continue to face a skills gap and chef’s crisis in our kitchens. This is not only a major barrier to potential growth, but a significant threat to the future of the curry restaurant sector.”


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