Takeaway businesses in Tayside and Fife continue to face an uphill battle against multiple growing industry issues, including food shortages and rising costs.
Due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, among other factors such as Covid and Brexit, there is a high chance that one of, if not your favourite local takeaway has been affected in one way or another.
Reduced opening hours, menus and teams are some of the paths taken to avoid businesses closing their hatches permanently.
For many restaurants they have been forced to swallow the price increases of core ingredients like chicken, oil and rice just to stay afloat.
For Perth Chinese takeaway Sen Lin, manager Liqin Lin, 28, has noticed the price for their ingredients increasing and supply being limited.
She said: “A box of prawn crackers used to be under £20 but now it is almost £40.
“And you can only purchase one box now, whereas before there was no limit on quantity.
“We normally use one box a week so we are struggling with stock levels.”
Liqin has seen the biggest increase with oil and thinks in the future their staff levels might have to be reduced.
“The most expensive thing is the oil.
“It was under £30 for a 2.2 litre bottle but now it is around £37 and if you want it delivered it will be £40.”
“We will have to increase the price of the menu in the next few weeks, but the kitchen staff might also have to be reduced if this continues.”
Pete Chan, owner of China China in Perth described the situation as “crumbling” due to the price increases. VAT returning to the original figure has also had an impact on his business.
The 51-year old said: “There are many businesses that will go under because they can’t afford it.
“It is more about survival at the moment.”
For Pete, when his prices become unaffordable for a family of four to eat out, he says he might just have to move on from his takeaway business.
He explained: “We are currently sitting at £8.20 for a chicken curry.
“My friend Michael who owns the fish and chip shop across the street is charging £7.80 for a fish supper.
“We have agreed when the day comes that we are charging £10 for a fish supper or chicken curry, then maybe it is time to move on and try something else.”
‘Everything has gone up’
For owners like Jamil Uddin, 41, of Everest Inn based in Dunfermline, rising costs have left him feeling helpless.
With everything increasing in price including most of his key ingredients, he’s unsure what the future holds. The impacts staffing issues are having on his business and the lack of available staff have also added fuel to the fire.
He said: “It is really hard because everything has gone up in price.
“We tried to increase our prices but the sales reduced and our customers went down.
“So we have had to keep everything the same and it costs us more. Because of the competition with the other restaurants we have had to swallow the costs.”
“Chicken has almost doubled, cooking oil is double, and cheese, rice and flour have gone up around 25%.
“I don’t know what the future holds, so we will see how long we can hold on for.”