In a speech to mark the fifth year of London’s hottest awards ceremony, its founder declares “this is an industry that is going places”
İbrahim Doğuş hailed the migrant community’s contribution to Britain’s economy in his keynote speech at the 2017 British Kebab Awards.
The entrepreneur said the awards, which marked their fifth year this year, had gone from strength to strength and that this was down to the industry’s robust strength.
“The kebab industry is at the heart of virtually every community in Britain. When many places have shut late at night, there is a light that never goes out for those seeking hot and filling food,” he said to applause from the 1000- strong audience of kebab restaurant owners, politicians and business leaders.
“For millions, a kebab is the perfect end to a night out. The kebab van or takeaway is a place of refuge, reward and reassurance.
“As a famous American chef once said, you don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.
“That’s certainly true of the kebab.”
But Mr Doğuş also said the late-night industry, so often staffed by migrants, had taken its toll from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
“I mentioned the late-night heroes, serving up hot food on a cold night. The industry is more than that, though,” he said.
“It is all of the people involved in food preparation, distribution and sales, it is the accountants, the owners, and the entrepreneurs.
“It is the people with a vision, who are prepared to invest, take a risk and work hard.
“It is always worth remembering that all too often these people are immigrants, or the children of immigrants.
“In this year of Brexit, let’s not be blinded to the positive contribution of people who’ve come to live in the UK, to put down roots, to work hard, pay taxes and to build the community.”