The group of 70, who serve five million meals a year, have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to refine their menu, improve processes and make their recipes easier to mass produce but, therefore, eligible for the program government R&D tax credits.
Part of the R&D process was to improve the recipe for its curry sauce so that it could be mass-produced and perfect the coating of its wok fried chicken. The company will also launch a cauliflower rice this year after developing the dish for the past 12 months.
“We serve millions of meals a year and customers want to know they can get the exact same product they love no matter which branch they walk into,” says Jon Lake, Managing Director of Chopstix Group.
“This is one of the biggest challenges for the fast food industry, but the R&D tax breaks and the additional cash flow they have actually generated have helped us fully invest in this area. This has helped us strengthen our proposition as we approach one of the most difficult and competitive times the restaurant industry has ever seen due to the pandemic. “
R&D tax credits were introduced by the government in 2000 to encourage innovation and result in either a reduction in the corporation tax of a limited company or a lump sum in cash.
“Chopstix is a prime example of how food industry experts can benefit as much from R&D tax incentives as companies working in fields more traditionally associated with technical innovations, such as aerospace and pharmaceuticals. Says Chris Hulme, director of distribution partners at a tax exemption company Catax, who advised Chopstix.
“The reality is that the R&D tax credit scheme creates a very level playing field for companies in all sectors, but many are still not claiming their rights. With the consequences of the pandemic threatening to be felt in the economy for years to come, it has never been more important that they do. “