The takeaway restaurant sector is being threatened by skills shortages, an organisation representing the industry claims.
Businesses are also being squeezed by rising inflation and business rates, according to the British Takeaway Campaign.
Research from the campaign, co-founded by online platform Just Eat, showed takeaway restaurants contributed £4.5bn to economic output last year and employed more than 230,000 workers.
The report has called for the Government to ensure that the immigration system enables firms to access suitably qualified staff from the EU and address skills shortages.
Ibrahim Dogus, a restaurateur who chairs the campaign, said: “Takeaways up and down the country contribute billions to growth and are behind thousands of jobs.
“But many are being hamstrung by skills shortages, rising food and wage costs, as well as business rates.
“While the Government’s move to clarify the status of EU nationals is a welcome step, more needs to be done to ensure takeaways can access the skills they need.
“That’s why we are calling for an immigration system that addresses areas of genuine skill shortage, rather than one that focuses on skill level alone.”
The takeaway sector is just one part of the economy where bosses are worried about their ability to recruit workers from overseas in the wake of the Brexit.
Hotels, restaurants and cafes are heavily reliant on European employees and are expected to face a recruitment gap if they cannot bring in the staff they need.