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NEWS


Pub chain now sells most curry in UK


The pub chain JD Wetherspooon is now the biggest curry seller in the UK, according to Horizons, a service which provides consumer and operator led data and insight on eating-out trends. The popular pub chain sells curry, sides and a drink for under £10 and has now overtaken traditional curry houses which are beset with staffing problems and high overheads. The trend is also being blamed on changing tastes in British dining, and the fact that the younger generation are not eating as much in Indian restaurants. The Thursday night Curry Club at JD Wetherspoons offers customers a choice of curry served with pilau rice, naan bread, mango chutney and poppadoms. Horizons forecasts that the recent growth in the UK eating out market is set to slow due to intense competition which will keep menu prices stable throughout the year. Much of the outlet growth in the past decade has been from pub restaurants, a sector that has grown 135% since 2001, offset by a drop in independently-run businesses.


Olympic Games will benefit home delivery


Restaurant owner disqualified


Food sector experts, Horizons predict that the 2016 Olympic Games will give a boost to the takeaway sector as consumers opt to stay at home to watch sporting events. According to Horizons, the food sector will see a trend towards hotter and more exotic dishes influenced by South American and Brazilian cuisine, inspired by the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.


Hatfield restaurant closes


one night for laughs An Indian restaurant in Hatfield had to turn customers away for one night in March when a TV crew descended to film a new comedy series. Restaurant owner Mo Ullah was contacted by ITV who asked to use his restaurant, The Taste of India, as the location for a comedy known as Marvin Can’t Fail. When asked for more details about the programme, Mr Ullah told Curry Life that he has been sworn to secrecy: “I’m afraid I’m not allowed to speak about it as I signed a contract,” he said.


A restaurant owner, Mr Abdul Shahid, has been banned from being a director for six years after failing to ensure that his company complied with its statutory obligations to carry out relevant immigration checks. The company has also been issued with a penalty notice amounting to £20,000 for employing two illegal immigrants. Bosham Spice Ltd traded as Memories of India, an Indian restaurant at Old Bridge Road, Bosham, West Sussex. The company went into liquidation in May 2015 with a deficiency of £44,506 which included the outstanding fines. Officials from the UK Border Agency visited Memories of India in September 2014 when they discovered two illegal workers. Mr Shahid, 45, who resides in Portsmouth, at first rejected the Civil Penalty Notice issued as he claimed that one of the workers had permission to work in the UK and had supplied original documents which the director copied. He stated that the second worker presented false documents which were “not reasonably apparent” as being false. Mr Shahid argued that he had checked the employees’ paperwork prior to employing them and that one employee had not understood the officials due to language difficulties. However, the Home Office concluded that the company had only seen copies of documents and officials had used Bangladeshi interpreters to communicate with one employee. The appeal was therefore dismissed and the company remained liable for fines of £10,000 per worker. The disqualification order means that Mr Shahid is not able to act as a director of a company, take part directly or indirectly in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership, or be a receiver of a company’s property. Robert Clarke, Group Leader, Insolvent Investigations North, said: “The public has a right to expect that those who break the law will face the consequences. Running a limited company means you have statutory obligations as well as protections, and this should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to take on illegal staff.”


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