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The Class of ’22

The Class of ’22 number around 10,500 Fish and Chip shops in the UK. The last few years have proved difficult with increasing competition, Covid restrictions and inflation in energy and food prices. Nevertheless, many in the industry have proved resilient with new initiatives to increase access and distribution. Fish and Chips still remain the Nation’s favourite meal and exceptionally good value. Frymax remains the brand leading cooking oil in the UK, a title it has now held

for over 65 years. Why ? Because we have been producing the same product without additions and modifications for all this time resulting in the same delicious results. Frymax is pure white premium palm which is additive free, contains no hydrogenated oil and less than one percent trans fats. As befits the brand leader, Frymax has recognised the need for economic fairness and is sourced from approved, certified production units and is 100% sustainable and traceable.


For information, advice, or customer support material please contact ADM Trading (UK) Limited. e-mail: Frymax – In a Class of its Own


inflation peak All the signs at the moment suggest that costs will keep rising steeply for months to come, putting further pressure on businesses and consumers. Announcing a rise in interest rates earlier this month, the Bank of England forecasts that inflation could peak at more than 13% and food prices will be a big part of that. It’s certainly going to be a tough end to the year and it will test that age-old theory that fish and chips are recession-proof. On a lighter note, the deadlines for entering the relaunched National Fish & Chip Awards 2023 are fast approaching. You’ll have to be quick for the takeaway category, it closes at the end of this month, and for the others you have until the end of September. Why not enter? It could bring the good news you’ve been waiting for.









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Fry Magazine Ltd does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in the materials contained herein, regardless of whether such error results from negligence, accident or any other cause whatsoever.











HOSPITALITY OPERATING COSTS HIT 55.2% OF TURNOVER Hospitality operating costs have increased to 55.2% of turnover before rent – the highest since 2007, the latest report from UKHospitality and specialist business property adviser Christie & Co has revealed. The survey of over 5,000 hospitality businesses covered the six months to December 2021 and highlights the soaring utility, premise and operational costs facing operators in the industry. The sector has faced relentless economic and operational challenges forcing operators to adapt and look to alternative revenue streams to drive business. Whilst the report notes a contraction in like-for-like sales of 2.3% in comparison to 2019, certain segments saw growth, with accommodation-led businesses leading the way at 9.8% like-for-like growth in revenue, driven by the staycation boom. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, comments, “This year’s survey highlights the extreme pressure that hospitality operators are labouring under, with costs soaring to a new record high. We have been working with government to make clear the harm this is causing to our ambitions for growth, investing in high streets and creating skilled roles. It’s imperative that government takes action to help us tackle the inflationary headwinds we face, unlock growth by removing regulatory barriers and creating a tax and investment framework for the future.” AMITY SCAMPI AND SCALLOPS WIN GREAT TASTE AWARDS Scottish seafood supplier Amity Fish Company has been awarded two prestigious Great Taste Awards. The company’s bestselling Panko Breaded Single Wholetail Scampi has been re-awarded a Great Taste star after first winning the accolade in 2021, with judges describing it as “sweet and plump”. In a welcome surprise, Amity’s Panko Breaded Queenie Scallops have also been awarded a star, with judges deeming the product “sweet, soft and succulent with a lovely crunch”. Great Taste is one of the largest and most trusted accreditation schemes for fine food and drink. The 1-star rating signifies these products are ‘simply delicious’ in a rigorous judging process that saw over 14,000 products undergo blind taste-testing by a selection of chefs, buyers, fine food retailers, restaurateurs, food critics and writers over 70 judging days. Of the wins, Amity managing director Jimmy Buchan said: “Picking up a second Great Taste award for our signature Panko Breaded Scampi, along with a new accolade for our Panko Breaded Queenie Scallops is testament that the products are making an impact on judges; we are thrilled to receive these new awards which is a story of pride and success from sea to plate and is reflected in the response of our customers to these products.”


Councils in England are to get tougher on litter rules when considering planning applications for new hot food takeaways. New guidance issued by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will give councils advice on what rules they can enforce when new takeaways open, such as ensuring they install more bins and anti-litter signs around shops or have staff members pick up litter regularly. Failing to adhere to these rules could result in financial penalties. The move is designed to help create cleaner town centres, with figures showing that fast food items are the fourth most common type of litter found on UK high streets. Levelling up secretary Greg Clark said: “We are empowering councils to make sure new takeaway food businesses are doing their bit to stop rubbish littering our high streets. “It is just one of the many ways we are improving the environment and making sure we can all take pride in the local communities we call home.” A number of councils are already putting these requests into place, such as Gateshead Council which has ordered new takeaways to provide litter bins for customers.


UK restaurant insolvencies have jumped 64% from 856 in 2020/21 to 1,406 in the past year as rising inflation and labour shortages drive restaurants out of business, new data from UHY Hacker Young shows. Peter Kubik, partner at the national accountancy firm, says restaurants are facing major threats from spiralling inflation, decreased consumer spending and a shortage of labour. The past quarter represents the largest number of restaurant insolvencies since the Insolvency Service began reporting monthly statistics during the Covid pandemic. 431 insolvencies of restaurants were registered in the three months to 31st May 2022 alone, a 29% increase on 334 in the previous quarter (see graph). Insolvencies within the restaurant sector are even higher than in the wider hospitality industry, which has seen a 56% increase in company insolvencies in the past 12 rising from 1407 to 2193. Previous research by UHY Hacker Young recently found that restaurants have already seen their losses rise to more than £800 million in the past six months as they felt the effects of major restructuring programs following the pandemic. Peter Kubik says: “Pressure is rising on the restaurant sector every day. More and more of them are shutting their doors as a result.”



BLEND 30 Batter Mix

To celebrate 30 years of trading we have produced this special batter mix Blend 30. We have been passionate about making batter mix for over 50 years and in this Blend 30 we have used all of our expertise and skill to produce a product that is the best of the best. This celebration blend is the ultimate product for crispness, increased holding time and quality.

We hope you love it as much as we do. Leonard & Sylvia Middleton

• A unique blend of flours • Fries extra crispy with a light golden colour • Designed to sit longer in the holding cabinet • Ideal for take-away, restaurant and delivery

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IT WOULDN’T BE SUMMER WITHOUT FISH AND CHIPS, REVEALS POLL Eating fish and chips on the beach has ranked fifth in a poll of the things that make for a quintessentially British summer. The research by restaurant chain Prezzo found that 35% of Brits love a chippy tea while feeling the sand between their toes. Topping the list is the smell of BBQs, followed by the smell of freshly cut grass and tucking into a Mr Whippy 99 ice-cream with a flake. Completing the top five is complaining that it’s too hot! Impromptu picnics in the park, chequered picnic blankets and the sound of the ice cream van also made the definitive list, as did garden parties, eating salad for every meal and the smell of sun cream. Overall, 53% of the 2,000 Brits surveyed said they like to make the most of the weather and eat outside during the summer as much as possible. Hannah Thompson, from Prezzo, who conducted the research said: “As a nation, there are definitely certain traits that make a quintessentially British summer, from the smell of freshly cut grass to getting together with friends and family to enjoying a delicious meal.” TUSCAN TOWN DISHES UP FISH AND CHIPS TO CELEBRATE ITALIAN-SCOTTISH CONNECTION Hundreds of portions of fish and chips were sold in the Tuscan town of Barga earlier this month when the 40th Sagra del Pesce e Patate took place. The two-week festival, which takes place annually at the home ground of local football team AS Barga, celebrates the long-standing link between the Tuscan town and Scotland. Many emigrants left Barga and the surrounding areas at the start of the 20th Century and between the two world wars to begin a new life further north selling either ice cream or fish and chips. The event began in the 1980s as a way of allowing those who had never left Italy the opportunity to sample the dish that many of their countrymen and women produced.

Rockfish, the nine-strong seafood restaurant group led by Mitch Tonks, is to open at three new locations over the next 12 months. The team has secured sites in Salcombe, Sidmouth and Topsham, with a number of other locations under consideration. The expansion follows a record year for the restaurant chain which at the end of April 2022 posted sales of £13m, restaurant earnings before taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of £2.9m and group EBITDA of £1.34m. Rockfish has also acquired two of its major suppliers, Brixham Seafish and Hillside Foods, which it says has helped create a unique integrated supply chain based directly on the quayside in Brixham, allowing landings from small scale fishermen, as well as its own boat “Rockfisher”. These improvements have not only allowed the business to adapt to inflationary pressures but have also enabled it to drop cod from its menus and replace it with native species as supply chains are hit by the conflict in Ukraine and resulting sanctions. This is in addition to opening a fishmongers in Brixham enabling customers to buy fresh ready-to-cook seafood, and launching the first range of British tinned fish which is now sold in premium retailers and restaurants nationwide. Mitch Tonks, founder and CEO, comments: “I am extremely proud of what the team have achieved at Rockfish over the last two years. We always set out to create amazing seafood restaurants using produce landed by local boats and small-scale fishermen. Covid allowed us the space to think differently, build a better business and focus on culture and our clear mission to be the leading sustainable seafood restaurant business in the UK. “Whilst the industry faces multiple challenges in terms of inflation and staffing, I believe the investments made this year in our supply chain and our people give us a clear competitive advantage that will allow us to build a more significant business over the next few years.”


and making pavement licences permanent is hugely positive, offering potentially business- saving opportunities to hundreds of pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.”

Secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities Greg Clark said: “We want to see bustling town centres across the country and that’s why the changes we made to licensing rules will become permanent. “Making al fresco dining a permanent fixture on our high streets is part of our plan to level up communities and create vibrant places people want to live and work.” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls welcomed the news as hugely positive, saying: “Any help that the struggling hospitality sector gets right now is gratefully received,

Temporary licenses brought in during Covid to allow pubs, cafes and restaurants to serve food and drink on pavements and pedestrianised roads are to be made permanent next year, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has said. The licenses were first introduced to help businesses keep operating during the pandemic and were due to expire in September. However, they will now be extended until they are made law in the spring.





RECOVERY LOAN SCHEME EXTENDED FOR TWO YEARS A government support scheme offering loans to small businesses has been extended for a further two years. The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), originally launched in April 2021 to help businesses recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, offers loans of up to £2 million with the government underwriting 70% in return for a lender fee. To date, it has supported almost 19,000 businesses with an average of £202,000 in support. The two-year extension is intended to provide further government support for businesses grappling with cost pressures, and adds to measures already announced by the chancellor, such as increasing the Employment Allowance, cutting fuel duty, and introducing a 50% business rates relief for eligible high street businesses. Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy, which is why we are determined to support our traders and entrepreneurs in dealing with worldwide inflationary pressures. “The extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme will help ensure we continue to provide much-needed finance to thousands of small businesses across the country, while stimulating local communities, creating jobs and driving economic growth in the UK.” The scheme remains virtually the same although lenders may now require a personal guarantee from the borrower, in line with standard commercial practice. HMRC INCREASES INTEREST RATES ON LATE TAX BILLS Following the Bank of England base rate increasing to 1.75%, HMRC has confirmed that it will raise its interest rates on late tax bills to 4.25% on 23rd August – a level not seen since January 2009. Tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg warns the move will hit taxpayers who are not up-to-date, and their bills could grow very quickly. Nimes Shah CEO at the firm said: “Since the start of 2022, the HMRC’s interest rate has increased by 1.5% - that’s the equivalent of an extra £225 per annum on a £15,000 tax liability. On the same £15,000 tax liability, you would suffer almost £650 of interest per annum. “With continuing rising costs rising across the board, HMRC have hiked up interest on late tax payments at the latest opportunity. It sets a worrying trend for some taxpayers who are struggling to pay their outstanding taxes, against the backdrop of other rising costs.” Nimesh believes the worst could be yet to come, with some economists projecting the Bank of England could decide to increase the base rate to 2.5% by the end of 2022. He adds: “This could see HMRC increasing their interest rate on late paid tax to 5% by the end of the year. Taxpayers who have outstanding tax liabilities should be mindful to settle as much as they can afford before there are further rate rises.” HMRC has also announced it will increase the repayment supplement rate by 0.25% to 0.75% - the first increase in this rate in over a decade.

drive, Sysco Speciality Group has introduced new Promens trays and thermoformed packaging to improve the transportation of fish and seafood. The Promens trays replace traditional wax boxes and reduce the plastic in the packaging to just two types -

LDPE and HD – both of which are easily recyclable. The structural integrity of the Promens trays ensures no leakage and helps maintain the freshness and quality of the fish whilst making it “shelf ready” for storage. The thermoformed packaging solution allows prepared fish to be sealed in an airtight mono-material packaging. It also promotes more efficient portion control and reduced wastage by allowing the fish to be allocated to perforated sections – typically two to three portions per sheet. This all contributes to enhanced shelf life. James Armitage, Sysco Speciality Group marketing director, comments: “As well as enhancing the group’s sustainability credentials the new packaging helps us to consolidate the delivery of fresh products from different categories into one delivery for our group and corporate customers. This is a far more convenient and cost-effective solution for our customers, and it also reduces the number of deliveries required, which has a positive environmental impact. “Consolidation has become a key element of Sysco Speciality Group’s proposition and the Promens trays and thermoformed packaging further enhance our capabilities in this regard.”


The Norwegian Seafood Council has been unveiled as the principal sponsor of the National Fish and Chip Awards 2023. The awards, which have been relaunched after a two-year break, are open for entries now with the ceremony taking place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London on the 28th of February 2023. Describing the awards as “a cornerstone of the fish and chip industry”, Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr, UK director of Norwegian Seafood Council, said: “We have worked with the NFFF for some time now to secure the relaunch, where we will honour best practice in the iconic UK fish and chip industry within a multitude of categories that carry great weight across the sector and beyond. “We are also proud to sponsor the category award for recognising sustainability and good environmental practice within the industry. Food security and sustainability have come to the fore in recent years, and the take up of our Fish & Tips campaign in fish and chip businesses across the UK is demonstrative of just how important the issue is to the industry as a whole. It’s imperative we work together to offer sustainable options on menus and educate consumers on the importance of provenance and choosing sustainable options. “The National Fish & Chip Awards have given endless energy to the nation’s fish and chip shops over the years, and to our exporters. We are honoured and excited to continue to be a part of this positivity for great British fish and chips.” To enter your shop, visit




Make the most of toast

Central Foods launches new deep dish apple pie Coming on the back of recent research from Foodhub that reveals apple pie as the nation’s most popular sweet pie, Central Foods has unveiled a new pre-sliced deep dish version. The Menuserve deep dish apple pie is pre-portioned into 12 slices that can be individually defrosted as required to help reduce wastage. Suitable for vegetarians, the pie has a defrosted shelf-life of four days when chilled. Central Foods 01604 858522

New Savour It! Toasties from Country Choice are perfect for outlets looking to extend their hot menu without investing in additional labour and cooking facilities. With four varieties to choose from - Four Cheese & Onion, Ham & Cheese, Tuna Melt and BBQ Chicken - the individually wrapped toasties come frozen and ready- assembled in ovenable film, ready to bake in around 25 minutes. They can then be displayed in a hot unit for up to four hours and have an rrp of £3.95. All four Savour It! Toasties come in compact, freezer friendly packs of 20, Country Choice 0800 521366



Led by industry leader, Jimmy Buchan, who has over 40 years’ experience in the fishing industry and was the star of the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning Trawlermen TV series, the Amity team source only the best catch from the icy waters around the Scottish coastline. Jimmy’s hands-on approach ensures nothing slips under the net…


Callum Richardson at the Bay Dolphin Café Peterhead Waterfront chippy, Anstruther Sea, Salt + Sole, Aberdeen Quayside, Whitby


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Henry Colbeck is fast approaching its 130th anniversary supplying fish and chip shops in Scotland and northern England with everything they need to run profitable businesses. Majority shareholder and sales director Douglas Colbeck talks about how this fourth generation family business continues to help the industry face its ongoing challenges

Is it all about making portion sizes smaller then?

What trends are you seeing in your business? We’re seeing an increase in the range of frozen foods and sides we sell as shops rise to the challenge of offering new menu items to attract the whole family. Whilst fish sales have naturally been impacted due to the price and availability issues that our whole industry has felt, some shops have decided to widen their offering e.g. installing a grill and offering grilled meats/ kebabs and burgers. Some shops have also decided to reappraise their opening times to meet a work/life/profit balance, which also fits with the challenge of recruiting permanent team members. Where do you think shops should focus their efforts? I think menu diversification will provide rewards, things like selling more snack and side items such as halloumi and mozzarella sticks, and also added value lines like southern fried chicken goujons. Portion control is also vital. Our ‘Lite Bite’ concept is well-established in the trade

and is providing so many businesses with valuable portion-controlled sales. Lite Bite is a branded, smaller, corrugated box which can hold a jumbo sausage or a 4oz portion of fish and some chips, plus a pea or gravy cup, and all at a lower price point. This is attractive to budget- conscious customers, or those who prefer a smaller portion and not see waste. It also helps friers hit their margins. If you think about it, a sausage, a fishcake or a burger all weigh about 4oz, yet a portion of fish quite often weighs around twice that! I don’t think you get friers offering two 4oz sausages or two 4oz fishcakes in a meal very often. I’m certainly not saying don’t offer 8oz fish, it’s more about making sure that the profit made on meals reflects the higher costs of today. To stop profitability being impacted, shops either need to reduce their portion size and charge the same price, or they need to keep the portion size the same size and put the price up - or even a combination of the two.

No - it’s about offering a variety of sizes. Some shops for instance have gone the other way and are offering a family sharing box instead, delivered in a large, plain pizza box filled with higher-profit (lower cost) items like sausages, fishcakes, mozzarella sticks or pakoras. I know a shop offering this and they have maintained 70% of their business as fish and chips. It’s not detracting from fish sales, rather it’s getting people adding on these extra items or sharing in a new way. How are you helping shops to innovate? Our buying team is always alert to new innovations and actively visits global exhibitions, whether that’s a packaging expo or seafood exhibition, for example. When we’re looking for NPD we are constantly asking things like will this be profitable for our customers? Will it be convenient for the frier? Will it save time and cook quickly? Also, is it versatile and can it create several meal options e.g.




shredded chicken that can be used to create loaded fries, in wraps, in salads and stir fries? We have always worked with a wide range of manufacturers (many of them also family businesses) and have increasingly been working with more local manufacturers in Scotland and the north. We think these links offer our customers a supply chain to be proud of, and one built on heritage. Also with the uncertainties of Covid, having suppliers closer to home has been a real bonus. What areas of NPD are looking particularly interesting? Plant-based products continue to be a growing market, with products continuing to improve in terms of quality and convenience. Vegan fish fillets for instance – there’s no need to soak and prepare banana blossoms – we’re selling a breaded vegan fish fillet which fries from frozen in four minutes. It’s been selling in Wagamama and Starbucks and has been very well-received. We are keen to encourage manufacturers to focus on our industry and think about how

products can be specifically created for, cooked and marketed in a fish and chip shop – that’s the way to make NPD really win in our environment. We’re always looking for great NPD – so please get in touch if you’ve got a winning product! What advice can you offer to help shops boost sales? In many high street chains the first things visible when ordering are the meal deals. Many shops in our industry lead with separately priced menus, which discourage the bigger meal deal sale. So, we’ve produced free customer meal deal posters designed to help sell profitable lines, such as curry sauce, gravy, peas and a drink – all in a package. We also encourage shops to sell sides too, such as halloumi fries, mac ‘n’ cheese bites, haggis bon bons or cheesy chips. It’s so important to have a menu that appeals to all ages, from the silver surfers to the TikTokers! I always encourage friers to utilise their counter teams’ sales skills, to get them involved in up-selling profitable curry, gravy and peas and cross-selling those extra side dishes or even suggesting a bottle of water. If

your team sells 24 bottles of water for around £1 each just by mentioning it on every order, you’ll be making about £20 with very little extra effort. In most shops customers are asked “do you want salt and vinegar?” which is free! But if they’re asked “do you want curry, gravy or peas with your meal?” then you have a good chance of getting a “yes, go on then” reply, which immediately helps profitability. What support are you offering shops at this time? Our ethos is to be more than just a supplier and we’re always looking into ways of giving back and supporting. We have supported shops with enhanced offerings based on our ‘Save + Select’ Customer Reward scheme eg: triple points month, win 100,000 points at our exhibition in Edinburgh in March 2022. We’ve promoted access to apprenticeships, offered free training packages and competitions to win NFFF memberships, epos systems, discounted heated bags/uniforms. This summer, we launched a campaign to help customers offer free or discounted kids meals, which a lot of supermarkets and restaurant chains have been doing for




YOU'RE INVITED! Trade Show for Fish & Chip, Takeaway and Food Service Professionals As a leading supplier within a unique industry, Henry Colbeck is 130 years old in 2023 , and we’d love you to join in the celebrations! Official exhibitors’ packs and FREE TICKET info will be sent out soon! NEW EXHIBITORS ARE WELCOME! Please contact for more information

What’s the main focus for fish and chip shops going forward? I hope that fish and chip shops are able to ask themselves the question, “Am I charging the correct price for my food?” And answer it with a ‘yes’. If they feel they can’t charge the prices for the portion sizes they’re offering, it’s important to look at offering a variety of portion sizes to maintain their margins. Offering additional menu options to keep bringing in the younger audience is so important too, whether that’s a gourmet burger or dirty fries, social media is full of the latest food trends and inspirations! How are you celebrating 130 years? We’re celebrating 130 years of supplying the trade at our next exhibition in Harrogate, Yorkshire, on Sunday 26th March 2022. It’s open to everyone, so save the date and come on down, meet the Colbeck team and try all of the latest innovations and profit generating ideas. It promises to be a very special event and one where we can give back to the industry and to team fish and chips.

some time, and created a free poster and a price bundle for customers to use to drive their sales. We’re also offering a used cooking oil collection ‘price boost’ and will always pay the best prices to reward our customers wherever we can. We run our own used cooking oil recycling plant where we collect and clean used oil - be it liquid oil or more solid dripping. Believe it or not some of our recycled product is even used in aviation fuel! We also provide free point of sale explaining that the shop’s oil is responsibly recycled. If anyone would like a tour of our recycling plant, please do get in touch at How is product availability looking now? Thankfully supply of many goods has returned, or is now returning, to pre- Covid levels, albeit manufacturers are seeing higher raw materials, energy and transportation costs affecting their businesses and causing price increases. Throughout lockdown, we were able to buy and hold high stocks as our family has always believed in keeping our profits within the business, to enable us to secure

additional stock, when available, to keep our customers stocked in challenging times. Fish availability and pricing is the most unpredictable. If Russia stops selling fish to the UK this will have a bigger impact on our industry than anything else, which is why fish and chip shops should ensure they’re offering a wider menu choice. We attend international events, such as FishEx in Barcelona, where our buying team meets both existing and new contacts. We are lucky to work closely with our established fish supply partners like Rammi to secure stocks and limit the impact of future market instability. What about oils and fats? We’ve heard reports that oil and fat prices are decreasing on the commodity markets, but this doesn’t have an immediate effect on prices because wholesalers ‘contract ahead’ and many are currently in higher- priced contracts. We hope that the markets continue to fall so that price reductions can filter through to our customers and, in turn the public, but we are at the mercy of global commodity markets and the past two years have shown how unpredictable they can be.





“Coke is our best selling drink with San Pellegrino a close second. We also sell a lot of a fermented tea drink called Kombucha; it goes great with fish and chips.” Calum Richardson, The Bay Fish & Chips, Stonehaven

“We sell a lot of San Pellegrino cans - orange and lemon flavour - but in York, we do the full Ben Shaw’s range as it’s traditional and goes with the vibe of things there.” Nick Miller, Millers Fish & Chips, York

It’s been a hot summer so far and with soft drinks sales buoyant, it’s not too late to add a slush or shake machine to the offering

“Our best seller is regular Coke. I guess people think having fish and chips is a treat anyway so may as well have the full sugar!” James Ritchie, Simpsons Fish & Chips, Gloucester “Our most popular selling drink is Irn Bru - no surprise there. Our Bon Accord drinks, which are locally produced, are also popular, particularly the cloudy lemonade which goes perfectly with fish and chips.” Carlo Crolla, East Coast, Musselburgh “Our most popular drink is Coke although my personal favourite is

With the warmer summer weather expected to last for some time yet, fast food operators should be considering equipment that can maximise profit potential during the hotter months. For many, the secret to a successful and profitable beverage operation lies with the ingredients and equipment – more specifically, equipment solutions which quietly create colourful, eye- catching beverages, that can be served in seconds. Profit centre Jason Sanderson, Icetro and Elmeco brand champion at Jestic Foodservice Solutions, says this is where a slush machine comes into its own. He adds: “A slush machine, such as the Elmeco First Class, allows fast food operators to batch-prepare popular chilled and frozen beverages such as juices, frozen coffees, frappes, traditional slush drinks and even frozen mocktails, all of which are

becoming increasingly popular. “What’s more, these drinks are created in an ultra-efficient way thanks to the unique eco-friendly design that reduces friction. This allows for a wide range of chilled and frozen drinks to be served quickly, turning any counter area into a significant profit centre.” Seconding this is Andrew Portbury, director of Us4Slush who says slush drinks can pull in a profit of up to 90%. Its machines are supplied with Sir-Lush syrup, cups and straws - everything an operator needs to start making money immediately. Andrew comments: “If you have a 2

bowl Sir-Lush Slush machine then you won’t go wrong with blue raspberry slush and strawberry

Fanta Lemon because it reminds me of being sat on a beach on holiday.” Bex Brewer, Port & Starboard, Indian Queens, Cornwall




shorter time frame. Taking just 30 seconds a milkshake, operators can offer all the classic flavours - strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and banana - as well as limited edition varieties including cappuccino, mint choc chip, raspberry & white chocolate and brand new bubblegum. Karen Green, marketing manager at Aimia Foods, says: “Shmoo thickshakes are ideal for fish and chip shops that want to keep their menus fresh, exciting and seasonally appropriate.”

be extremely profitable. He recommends Carpigiani’s 161K countertop, plug & play machine which uses a UHT base mix, adding: “Featuring Carpigiani’s exclusive Hard-O-Tronic system for perfect consistency every time, the 161K is packed with the latest technology to ensure fish and chips businesses can turn out perfect milkshakes quickly and easily.” Syrup can be added to

slush. These two flavours are a firm favourite with all ages. However, all of our 20 or so flavours sell well to varying degrees. Lemon & Lime slush is always a good seller and our Caribbean Cruise (tropical) is a real winner.” To help boost sales, Andrew recommends locating your machine either near to the till or by the door, and offering self-service,

create a flavoured shake in seconds while built- in self-pasteurisation means cleaning is only required every 42 days. Another option for super quick thickshakes is the Shmoo in-cup mixer which helps fast food outlets speed up service and sell more shakes in a

adding: “To maximise sales, self-serve is the best way to sell Sir-Lush slush drinks. Just scan the bar code on the Sir- Lush branded slush drinks cup and hand it to your happy customer.” To make it easy for

Aimia Foods 01942 272900 Carpigiani UK 01432 346018 Jestic Foodservice Solutions

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operators, machines come with measuring bottles to ensure the correct ratio of syrup to water is used, a night mode that keeps the liquid cold but not frozen, and YouTube videos that show how to set up and clean your slush machine. Quick shakes For operators looking to add extra revenue to their summer trading, Paul Ingram, managing director at Carpigiani UK, says a takeaway or drink-in shake offering can


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Coull’s in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, has braved Covid and invested in doubling the size of its restaurant, opening up new opportunities

Natasha Coull and her husband Bob have run Coull’s Fish & Chips - known as Cannon until October last year - for the past 27 years. Located just three miles from the Scottish border in the seaside resort of Berwick- upon-Tweed, it takes 60% of its yearly revenue between April and October, driven by tourists across England as well as Scots crossing the border from nearby Edinburgh and Glasgow. When Covid hit and the shop they rented out next door was handed back to them, it presented an opportunity for Natasha and Bob to completely overhaul their cramped takeaway and 20-seater restaurant. Now stands a modern-day takeaway, 50-seater restaurant and their golden egg - a landscaped, south-facing garden terrace with seating outside for 40. “From what we had before to what we have now is unbelievable,” says Natasha. “The restaurant was at the back of the takeaway with booth seating and no windows, now it’s spacious and airy, plus we have the garden

area which we’ve never had before. It’s our first summer this year being able to use the garden and the feedback we’ve had is that everyone is loving being outside. “In our little town, there aren’t many restaurants that have an outdoor area where people can sit outside and have lunch. We’ve got one Italian and a few little pubs that have tiny beer gardens at the back but you can’t really sit outside and have a nice family meal. “So that’s definitely been a good driving force.” As unique as the space outside is the decor inside, which Natasha designed herself, taking inspiration from image sharing platform Pinterest and creating a mood board to show her builders and joiners. A listed building, Natasha was keen to retain as much of the original character as she could, complementing the brickwork with industrial elements such as fake stainless steel ducting along the ceiling and corrugated metal on the walls. Finishing touches include fishing nets, a grass feature wall and neon




Menu overhaul Although the restaurant has doubled in capacity, the menu has been scaled back, by almost half estimates Natasha, to make it easier for her and her staff at busy times. All the classics such as sausages, haggis and burgers have remained plus they’ve added pizzas, baked potatoes and several extra vegan and vegetarian options. A whole new EPOS system has also been installed in the restaurant, with staff now taking orders on tablets rather than traditional pen and paper. “That’s been fantastic and taken a lot of time off because it sends food orders directly to the kitchen and drinks orders to the bar. Drinks can be at a table before the food orders even hit the kitchen so speed-wise that’s been a big improvement.” During the renovation, Natasha felt the time was right to rebrand the shop, giving the family name the credit it deserves. “It’s a little bit of a pinch me moment that we’ve actually got our name up there,”she says. “It’s really nice but, don’t get me wrong, I still answer the phone and say ‘Hello Cannon, sorry Coull’s!” While prices continue to increase around them, Natasha feels she has got the business to a point where it can ride out the current challenges, adding: “The cost of living is going up and up but from our perspective, I would say we’re still good. The money is still coming in here, which is amazing. People still love a takeaway, don’t they?”

lights. The refurb has certainly had a huge impact on customers. “I had one cheeky customer come in and tell me it looks too nice to be a fish and chip shop,” says Natasha. “She actually said, why would you waste your time and have a fish and chip shop in here? It should be a tapas bar or a wine bar, it’s far too nice for a fish and chip shop!” Raising the bar is what it’s all about though and since reopening, Coull’s has been approached to host a range of corporate events as well as a 60th party, a postponed office Christmas party and even a wedding. “Someone asked if they could get married in the garden, they wanted a small wedding and asked if we could cater for it. It’s all food for thought, we’re not going to do anything like that right now, but it’s great to think we could do that. Doing the refit has pointed us in a completely new direction with so many new possibilities which, again, is fantastic.” Attracting plenty of new customers from couples to families to groups, the changes have also helped lift a tired town centre. “Looking at our town, it’s like every town, a lot of shops are closing down and it’s becoming all charity shops, coffee shops or hairdressers,” says Natasha. “I knew it needed something putting back and a reason for people to come into town. A lot of people have given us that feedback, that we’re giving something back and that this is exactly what is needed.”




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few things Ocean Catch does differently. The chippy at home had someone whose job it was to cook and someone whose job it was to serve and that was it. Whereas here there are a lot more shared responsibilities and we work very much as a team, so I’ve been able to get involved in a lot more rather than just serving. My day might start with a little bit of washing up, making sure the serving area is tidy and then stocking up anything that hasn’t been stocked up from the night before. The shop took on Just Eat a couple of months before I started and it’s really taken off so now when I come in at 5pm there are already a lot of orders to start preparing. Just Eat has done a lot of different types of promotions to bring in new customers and it’s definitely worked, the shop has a much wider audience now. At my previous shop we always wrapped in paper so I was looking forward to showing off my wrapping skills here. When I came for my trial shift I walked into the shop and thought, ‘oh no, you use bags’. To me, that didn’t seem like a proper fish and chip shop at first, but I’ve definitely adjusted to it and now I can see it’s a lot easier, the portions are controlled more and the packaging looks a lot better because everything has the same logo on it. Swapping to bags and boxes has been a big thing for me, for sure. As well as our fish and chips, we are really proud of our kebabs. I would say they are on a par with the quality of our fish. It’s a really high quality kebab and the supplier will only sell to one shop within a three-mile radius so no one else around us has them. We also do a fantastic homemade Greek salad, which comes with the kebab although people are starting to order it if they’re having chicken and there are even a few people that come in just for a box of salad for lunch the next day. I feel really fortunate to have got the job at Ocean Catch. I think because fish and chips was the first job I had, it feels kind of close to home. I just feel comfortable doing it. Although it’s a bit hot and sticky at the moment, but I’m getting used to it!

21-year-old Kathleen Ryan-Rowe transferred to Ocean Catch in Bristol when she moved for university last year. 12 months on and she feels totally at home

I’ve been at Ocean Catch for a year next month although I’ve worked at a chippy in my home town of Shropshire since I was 14. I was going off to university in Bristol and my boss had the idea of posting up on one of the chippy Facebook pages, recommending me to anyone that had a job going. At first, I thought, okay, we’ll see. I didn’t think anything of it. But then Nick, who owns Ocean Catch,

got in touch and I came in for a chat and a trial shift and it was perfect because the shop is a two-minute walk from my house, which I didn’t know at the time. It’s quite funny because when they advertised the position initially within the Filton area, they didn’t have many responses, whereas I’d come from Shropshire! It’s been great to be able to walk in and just get on with the job, although there are a

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