you can trust that the Icelandic fish on your plate was legally and sustainably harvested.
Three years ago I wrote an article that declared my favourite chippy’s in Yorkshire, at the time the average price of fish and chips amongst the five restaurants was £6.40, now that price is in the region of £8.50*, that’s a whopping 33% higher.
It’s not hard to understand why the price increase is so huge, staffing costs have increased significantly in recent months but I would suspect that energy costs are what hits Chippy’s the hardest, it’s not just the premises that need heating, it’s also the vast amounts of Beef Dripping that requires a constant high temperature for every minute the chippy has its doors open, couple that with rises in things like fuel costs which impacts the transport methods required to get the ingredients and it’s easy to assume that a 33% price hike is only the start of it, I foresee a £10 portion of takeaway fish and chips very soon.
Such is the problem that, in recent weeks, I’ve witnessed one of my favourite, multi-branch, chippy’s closing its doors for the final time and another very well-respected award-winning chippy available for sale.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the consumer or the business owners, quality is what we will demand in the coming years, and it’s quality that might just save a British institution.
Let me explain, imagine buying a burger for £25 and it’s poor, would you send it back, most would, in fact, most would send it back, demand it was taken off the bill and then go on to write a negative review on google or TripAdvisor, and so they should, however, what if you bought a £1 big saver burger from McDonald’s and it was poor? I’m guessing you’d put it down to experience, avoid that branch of the Golden Arches in the future and that would be the end.
So at £8.50 per portion, 33% higher than we were paying just a few years ago, we will demand quality and if we don’t get that quality, well we know what will happen, and so the clever business owners will deliver that quality in every aspect of what they produce and the not so clever owners will be left wondering what happened to their business.
Quality won’t just start and end with a nice smile when the customers enter the building, it will stretch the entirety of the customer journey, the cleanliness of the establishment, the greeting, the friendliness of the staff, the uniform, the way they wrap the food and indeed the food itself, the price of fish and chips is at a Rolls Royce standard, the quality needs to match that.
An example of delivering at this level of quality is the guys responsible for the multi-location brand Wetherby Whaler, ample parking, a seat in the restaurant straight away, a friendly smile and above all awesome Fish and Chips is what they deliver.
In terms of the food, they only use Icelandic Fish, known for its freshness given the cleanliness of the crystal clear waters they enjoy in the Nordics, couple this with transparent regulations and rigorous surveillance and you can trust that the Icelandic fish on your plate was legally and sustainably harvested and tastes bloody great too, exactly the quality I talk about. You can assume that if they go out of the way to source fish of this quality then the chips must have a similar back story.
So why am I writing this? I suppose this is a plea really, firstly to the consumer, don’t be afraid to demand quality, after all, you’re paying a high price, but likewise don’t be afraid to give constructive advice when you don’t get it, don’t ghost them, feedback is a gift, it might just save them.
Secondly, to the chippies that are an iconic backbone of British cuisine, up your game, the days of piling it high, and selling it cheap are over, battering mars bars for Instagram fame is finished, instead focus your attention on sourcing the very finest ingredients, delivering the very best experience and doing so with a constant smile on your face. Eating out is about to become a planned experience, not a flippant decision, make sure the delivery of the planned experience is one to be remembered not forgotten.
I suspect we will lose more than 50% of the UK’s Chippy’s in the next 12 months, if this advice saves just one of them, I’ll be happy!!
God Bless Fish and Chips!