Whilst the Covid epidemimic was responsible for the closure of many restaurants in Britain, a contributary cause has to be the growth of fast food, and fast food deliveries straight to the customer.
Did you know that when you get a takeaway meal in Britain, you are most likely to be eating curries? You might think that this would be a surprise to everyone given the emergence of fast food chains in the 1950s and 1960s. But, in fact, and Indian and Chinese takeaway food has been the favourites amongst Britons for several decades now. Much of it is now delivered by couriers on bikes, on scooters or in cars; all covered by expensive hire and reard insurance (what is hire and reward insurance? You may well ask!)
Takeout has a very long and fascinating history. In fact, the first recorded recipe for chow mein (one of the UK's favourite takeaway meals) was written in Chinese and translated into English in 998AD. It is believed that chow mein was first eaten in China in the year AD 438 during the Eastern Han Dynasty. However, during the second half of the 20th century, many tookaways became integrated with fast food chains. This was partly due to rising levels of urbanization and the increasing dominance of Western food in British culture. In addition, the rise of the self-service sector and the decreased importance of restaurants as community centers also contributed to this.
Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, American and other western-themed restaurants became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Indian, Chinese and other Asian restaurants were later added to this, becoming popular in the 1980s and 1990s. In the meantime, takeout in other parts of the world caught on, with Pizza Hut and McD's opening their first UK stores in the 1980s and 1990s, respectively.
British Indians are known for their obsession with meals on a platter, especially during the Hindu festival of Diwali. This is reflected in the wide variety of Indian buffets that have sprung up across the country. As well as standard Indian dishes like samosas, butter chicken and so many more, buffets also specialise in various regional specialities, including a range of North Indian dishes liketypical North Indian dosa and chutney, a Southeast Asian delight, a few British Indian dishes like potato bhajee.
Traditional Chinese and Japanese restaurants still exist in parts of the country, but many western-themed places have taken over as the favoured destination for takeaway in recent years. Chinese takeaways aimed at ex-patriate Chinese usually serve steamed or boiled dumplings, soups and breads, as well as rice dishes such as hotpot or chicken rice, whilst chicken curry and chips is the best seller to English customers.
Many Indian and Asian restaurants also offer a variety of other types of takeaway, particularly during the week. These may be sandwiches or burgers, salads or desserts. You don't have to go to a Chinese or Indian restaurant to get takeaway food though Many supermarkets now have a selection of sandwiches, salads and buns to take away. If you are on a low budget and cannot eat in a restaurant, a takeaway is often a good option. There are also Italian and Greek restaurants, and a few Japanese and American chains among the many international restaurants that provide takeaway options in the UK.
With more and more people opting to dine out at home, takeout is set to become a growing trend in the UK. In fact, research from the Campaign for Real Food estimates that one in three people in the UK regularly order takeout. As the trend grows, it is likely that more chains and innovation will follow.
There is a large potential audience for takeaway in the U.K; people are increasingly looking to eat their meals at home, the cost of eating out is rising, and there is a larger demand for different kinds of food. Takeaway is a convenient way to get food when you don't have the time, the inclination or the motivation to cook. It is a quick, cheap and easy way to get meals quickly.