INDUSTRY FACTS

History of kebabs

1940
1966
1970s
1980s
1990s
2014
2019
2020
The first Turkish Restaurant – the Istanbul – opens in the UK in Soho London.

This wasn’t just the year that England won the World Cup but also marked the opening of the first doner kebab enterprise in Newington Green, London. The cooking of a doner on a vertical spit was born in the UK.

With the arrival of Turkish, Greek Cypriot and Kurdish migrants, doner kebab outlets started to flourish.

A military coup in Turkey in 1980 brought a second wave of Turkish migrants to the UK, primarily made up of intellectuals, students, trade union activists and professionals. Initially many of these people found work in kebab houses and other retail outlets.

The number of British visitors to Turkey were estimate to be 716,000 per year by 1996 which further boosted the demand for high quality Turkish food on the UK high street.

Kebabs become the fourth favourite takeway in the UK after pizza, Chinese and Indian.
Doner kebab is voted the nation’s favourite kebab meat followed by shish.
80th anniversary since the opening of the first Turkish restaurant in the UK.

Did you know?

1.

“Kebap” – the Turkish word for kebab – is from kabāb, and can be traced back to a Mesopotamian word meaning cut-up pieces of pan-fried or flame-grilled meat.

2.

The word “doner,” comes from the Turkish verb dönmek, or to turn, because it is grilled for hours on a rotating spit.

3.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has a choice of four kebab outlets within walking distance of her home at Windsor Castle.

4.

Most popular names for kebab outlets and restaurants are Shish, Instanbul, Best, King, Mangal, Charcoal, Marmaris, Turkish Delight and Diamon.

5.

There are some 17,000 kebab shops across the UK.

6.

The industry contributes some £2.8bn to the UK economy.

7.

Kebabs are the 4th most popular takeaway in the UK.

8.

2,000 tonnes of lamb doner meat are produced by manufacturers in the UK every week.

9.

There are 200 doner kebab manufacturers in the UK.

10.

1.3m portions of doner kebab are sold by outlets every day.

The Kebab Alliance is speaking up for this great industry.

Will you add your voice?