Banbury area Indian restaurant reaches final of 'Curry Oscars' as inflation threatens to take the price of bhaji as high as £12

A Banburyshire Indian restaurant is in the running to become the country’s best at the 'Curry Oscars' on Monday.
The popular Indian Queen restaurant on the A422 Stratford Road at Wroxton HeathThe popular Indian Queen restaurant on the A422 Stratford Road at Wroxton Heath
The popular Indian Queen restaurant on the A422 Stratford Road at Wroxton Heath

The Indian Queen, at Wroxton Heath, will join others from all over the UK in a glittering finale at the 18th British Curry Awards – which were named the Curry Oscars by former Prime Minister, David Cameron – at Evolution London.

The team will attend with other leading curry restaurateurs and alongside prominent personalities from the worlds of showbiz, entertainment, sports and politics. There will be a live public vote on the night for the Diners’ Choice Award.

This year, the ceremony will pay homage to the legacy of British Curry Awards Founder, Enam Ali MBE, who sadly passed away earlier this year, as well as recognise the urgent issues currently facing the UK curry industry in the cost of living and energy crises.

The Indian Queen is one of the finalists at the Curry Oscars which take place in a glittering ceremony in London on MondayThe Indian Queen is one of the finalists at the Curry Oscars which take place in a glittering ceremony in London on Monday
The Indian Queen is one of the finalists at the Curry Oscars which take place in a glittering ceremony in London on Monday

The UK curry industry, known for its resilience in weathering operational and business challenges such as staff shortages and the pandemic, now faces further uncertainty with the energy and cost of living crises and amid rising inflation.

With spiralling costs, It is estimated that the average price of a curry could reach as much as £30 and industry leaders fear it could lead to the closure of thousands of curry restaurants across the UK.

“Curry restaurateurs have seen their shopping bills increase by an average of 40 per cent,” said Jeffrey Ali, director of the awards.

"The price of oil alone has increased by more than 100 per cent; while the cost of other curry house essentials such as a 25kg sack of onions has now doubled to more than £14.50. The situation is unsustainable for the industry as curry houses are desperately trying to minimise these costs against menu pricing, while households are tightening their own belts.”

Members of the public can take part in a live vote for the Diners' Choice AwardMembers of the public can take part in a live vote for the Diners' Choice Award
Members of the public can take part in a live vote for the Diners' Choice Award

The Spice Business ‘Onion Bhaji Index’ indicates the average cost of an onion bhaji in the UK will jump from £4 to £12 per portion, while inflation means a chicken tikka masala, could rise from £7 to £17.

With soaring energy bills, around seven in ten restaurants could be forced to close without government intervention.

The Diners’ Choice Award gives restaurants with social media a chance to win this award if they receive the highest number of public votes on the night.

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