The chairman of the Asian Catering Federation (ACF) Yawar Khan predicts that half of the nation’s curry houses will disappear from the High Street inside a decade.

Issues facing curry restaurant owners – such as chef shortages and rising costs – have been widely reported, but it is the failure of some restaurateurs to respond to changing customer demands and ignoring modern technology, that will spell the collapse of this once thriving sector, he claims.

Despite two curry restaurants closing each week, the dining out sector as a whole is actually thriving, with sales and new openings on the increase. The Asian Catering Federation represents owners of over 35,000 ethnic restaurants and takeaways – including those in the Indian, Chinese, Thai and Malaysian community, but the largest single group are Bangladeshi. Over 90% of Britain’s ‘Indian’ curry restaurants are Bangladeshi owned.

“We British Bangladeshis can be very insular and inward looking, we fail to regard other cuisines as competition and we are slow to adopt new marketing opportunities, such as social media platforms,” said Mr Khan. “For years we have been telling restaurants they need to up their game with shorter menus, offering lighter healthier options with more fish and vegetable dishes, with genuinely authentic regional food. Many rarely see a customer at lunch time, whilst pubs and chains like Nando’s are serving thousands of spicy dishes throughout the day.”

Thomas Chan, who is chairman of the Chinese Takeaway Association, and Teddy Chen, chairman of the Malaysian Restaurant Association, report similar complacency among many of their own members. Mr Chen added: “It will be sad to lose some old favourites, but there are some exciting and dynamic restaurateurs waiting in the wings to take their place