@ President, BCA1960
welcome you all, to BCA’s Annual Awards evening,
which is now in its 16th year. Tonight, is not only
special because we will be celebrating the best talent
within our industry, but it is a time where will all come
together as one family, and it is in this community,
where we find our strength and power. Our slogan this
year is – Celebrating Success & Inspiring Others.
We know that businesses within the hospitality sector
across the country are struggling to cope with the
rising prices, and there are difficulties in finding staff,
which has added to cost increases. The confidence of
the hospitality sector as whole has tumbled and we
know that times are really, really challenging. We are
faced with chronic challenges in the supply chain,
labour shortages, interest rates and inflation, now with
the rocketing energy prices, it has become a matter of
an emergency for businesses in our sector.
These uncertainties are impacting the Britain’s curry
industry and unless costs come under control, many
curry restaurants will go under, and sadly many jobs
will be lost. The great British tikka masala – the nation’s
favourite dish – is under threat as never before. Our
businesses cannot sustain itself on grants from
Government; trade needs to be simpler, cheaper, and
faster for our curry restaurants.
We need Government help, with VAT, council tax cuts
and business rates relief, issues we have been
campaigning on before the pandemic. We know these
cost increases are unsustainable. After years of
suffering caused by the lack of skilled chefs and the
Covid crisis, the curry industry is now being hit by cost
increases in everything from gas to spices, vegetable
oil to mango chutney.
During these uncertain times, BCA seeks to unlock our
industry’s full potential as one of the biggest engines
for growth in the UK economy and to ensure that our
industry’s needs are effectively represented. Our key
priorities are the future workforce of the sector,
tackling the excessive tax burden the sector faces and
ensuring that regulation on business is proportionate.
We all know that our workforce is the lifeblood of our
restaurants and takeaways and is essential to the
strength and success of our businesses.
When we come together to campaign for our industry
and community, we can make a difference. It is on this
point of community spirit that I want to remind us why
we are all here tonight. It is to recognise the best
talent from BCA’s chefs and restaurants. I would like
to take this moment to congratulate all our finalists
and wish them luck. This year’s competition as always,
has been tough.
I would also like to thank all our sponsors, partners,
the efforts of the award committees and sub
committees, and of course the team behind tonight.
Finally, I would like to mention that this year, I was
awarded with an OBE, which was an honour and a
privilege. I will continue to serve this beloved
organisation and its members. Thank you all, for your
support and hard work, which continues to create a
legacy for our great industry.