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Rapid growth in takeaway sector serves up success for UK economy

Rapid growth in takeaway sector serves up success for UK economy

A new report from JUST EAT shows that the UK takeaway industry was worth £9 billion to the economy and supported more than 220,000 direct jobs in 2014.

Adjusting for the proportions of full and part-time jobs, this equals 153,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

At £9 billion, the sector is worth more than other service industries such as design (£5.7 billion) and hairdressing and beauty (£4.7 billion). In jobs terms, the takeaway sector is around a third larger than the insurance industry (153,000 FTE jobs vs. 98,100 FTE jobs), and roughly the same size as the UK’s regular armed forces (156,630 people).

Total employment in the takeaway industry rose by 10% from 2012 to 2014 and by nearly 17% over the past five years, mirroring the wider growth the sector has seen. In addition to the people employed directly in the sector, the knock-on economic impact of the industry supports a further 72,000 FTE jobs, of which 38,000 are indirect jobs in the supply chain, and 34,000 are induced jobs in the wider economy. What’s more, the sector is expected to generate another 30,000 jobs over the next five years.

The report also reveals that the fastest growing cuisines on JUST EAT by year are:

  • 2007: Japanese orders increased 80 times
  • 2008: Mexican orders increased 8.5 times
  • 2009: Polish orders increased 5 times
  • 2010: Piri Piri orders increased 26 times
  • 2011: Iranian orders increased 7 times
  • 2012: South African increased 20 times
  • 2013: Mongolian increased 12 times
  • 2014: Kurdish increased 20 times


In addition,

  • African food - which first became available in 2012 - saw a 150% growth in orders between 2013 and 2014
  • Brazilian food experienced a 150% increase in orders in 2010.


Graham Corfield, UK Managing Director of JUST EAT, said: “We know takeaways contribute a huge amount to our culture but what many don’t realise is the enormous impact takeaway restaurants – often small, independent, and family-run – make to our economy.”

The analysis shows the takeaway sector contributed £4 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy last year, equivalent to one eighth (12.5%) of the entire food services sector (which includes restaurants, cafes, canteens, pubs, bars, events catering and of course takeaways).

British Takeaway Awards

“The takeaway sector rightly deserves to be recognised and championed as one of the key industries supporting small businesses across the UK and this is why JUST EAT has launched the British Takeaway Awards - the first ever multi-cuisine takeaway awards in the UK,” said Graham.

The British Takeaway Awards will take place on 9 November at The Savoy in London, where 250 of the most celebrated names in British takeaway food will come together to applaud the success of Britain’s best independent takeaway businesses.

For further information on the Awards, visit

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