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Award-winning restaurant closes

Flashback to last year at the Curry Life Awards: Winning Chef Mahboob Rahman from Dine
Bangla (second left) with the Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, Mr Illy Jaffar and Louise

Beverley’s award-winning Indian restaurant Dine Bangla, in Railway Street, says tough immigration rules are making it difficult to recruit staff, forcing the restaurant’s closure.

Opening back in 1988, Dine Bangla has won a number of awards; the most recent being when its head chef, Mahboob Rahman, was recognised as one of the best curry chefs in the UK at the 2016 Curry Life Awards in London. Organised by the trade magazine Curry Life, Mr Rahmann was one of 24 chefs to receive an award and at the time magazine editor Syed Ahmed told Beverley FM that mystery shoppers had visited the restaurant after recommendations from Dine Bangla customers. He described Mr Rahman’s food as “very innovative”.

Now, the restaurant’s manager has told how they tried everything to recruit new staff, without any luck. “Business was brilliant, customers have been in tears about us closing. We could have struggled on but it would have spoiled our reputation,” he said. “All Indian restaurants are having the same problem. Experienced staff are very hard to get hold of.” However, he is still hoping the restaurant could eventually open in a new location in the town.

Under the rules, a chef from outside the UK must be paid £29,570, after deductions for accommodation and meals, which Dine Bangla says is too expensive for most curry restaurants. The rules also state the jobs cannot be in a restaurant with a takeaway service, which most curry houses rely on.

A spokesman at Curry Life said: “It’s a nationwide crisis because of a shortage of skilled kitchen staff and chefs. People are saying there are Indian restaurants closing every week. Restaurants can’t afford to bring staff from the subcontinent because the threshold to bring in a skilled chef or cook is too high.”