SEPT 22

1926 - 2022

www.frymagazine.com THE UK’S NO.1 MAGAZINE TO THE FISH FRYING & FAST FOOD TRADE SEPTEMBER 2022

The Class of ’88

By the late 1980’s the British public’s food tastes had become cosmopolitan with considerable growth in Indian and Chinese takeaway’s and gourmet food ranges in supermarkets. Nevertheless Fish and Chips still remained the Nation’s favourite takeaway with the Class of ‘88 numbering around 15,000 shops. They were attracting a more diverse range of customers who were paying around £1.60 - £2.00 for medium cod and chips. Greaseproof paper was introduced and newspaper for wrapping phased out on hygiene grounds. A BSE outbreak also resulted in many shops switching from animal fats to vegetable oils for frying.

By 1988, Frymax was still the number one brand. It was exactly the same product as on launch with no additions or modifications and remained pure white palm which is additive free, contains no hydrogenated oil and less than 1% trans fats. Frymax guaranteed consistently good results and long lasting performance without deterioration in quality and had become firmly established as the Fryers Favourite.

RSPO-2-0677-16-100-00

For information, advice, or customer support material please contact ADM Trading (UK) Limited. e-mail: frymaxinfo@adm.com www.frymax.co.uk Frymax – In a Class of its Own

SEPTEMBER 2022 CONTENTS

a lifetime of service Earlier this month we were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She served our country for 70 years, she was our leader, our guide, our one constant in a world that never failed to surprise, and her loss has been felt by us all. The industry has respectfully paid its tributes with many takeaways and restaurants lowering Union Jacks to half-mast, displaying messages of condolences and closing for the funeral. Some in the fish and chip industry were fortunate enough to have met the Queen, either on one of her many tours of the UK or via a rare invitation to a Royal event. But you needn’t have met her in person to have seen her infectious smile, felt her boundless kindness or witnessed her dedication, these traits were always evident and so we thank you for your service Ma’am and may you now rest in peace.

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BIG INTERVIEW

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EDITOR’s ARTICLE

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30 MINUTES WITH

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PACKAGING

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SPOTLIGHT

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INDUSTRY NEWS 09.22

KFE OPEN DAY WILL TACKLE RISING COMMODITY PRICES Giving shops the confidence to tackle rising prices will be top of the agenda at the KFE Open Day taking place on Sunday 16th October with money-saving tips and ideas to increase sales. Attendees to the open day - the first since Covid - can take a tour of KFE’s state-of-the-art, high efficiency Kiremko wall range to understand the advanced technology that is saving customers up to 50% on gas bills and 30% on oil. As well as learning how the company has helped multiple Kiremko customers secure energy efficiency grants of between £10,000 and £20,000, its six-strong sales team will be on hand to crunch the numbers and help shops understand the exact price they need to charge for fish and chips based on rising commodity prices. Representatives from KFE’s leasing partner, Tower Leasing, will also be available to discuss the finance options on offer and to break down the investment required into the exact number of additional portions of fish and chips a shop needs to sell each day for a range to pay for itself. KFE will also be unveiling its brand new online mobile ordering device for shops looking to increase their revenue streams by offering delivery. Visitors can try out the technology while learning about the free marketing opportunities that come with having their own database. In addition, there will be live demonstrations from award-winning trainers Mark Petrou and Gordon Hillan, opportunities to meet with suppliers such as Drywite, Friars Pride, Kerry Foods and Middletons, as well as time to network and share ideas with other shop owners. The open day runs from 10am until 3pm, is free to attend and everyone will leave with a goody bag and having enjoyed a fish and chips lunch. KFE Managing Director Paul Williams comments: “We’re really pleased to be welcoming visitors back to our open day where we hope to reassure customers at this worrying time by offering advice, practical solutions and clarity. “It’s also an opportunity for customers to see the value of investing in energy efficient equipment, which is becoming all the more important in light of rising energy prices. We’ve had a customer tell us recently that their Kiremko frying range paid for itself in gas and oils savings in under five years, and we are keen to help other shops achieve similar savings.” Following on from the open day on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th October is KFE’s two-day training course. Hosted by Gordon Hillan and Mark Petrou, the pair will take students through every aspect of running a fish and chip shop from prepping and frying as well as marketing. On the second day, students will fry their own lunch. To book your place on the KFE Open Day or the two- day training course, call 01778 380448 or e-mail sales@ kfeltd.co.uk

ENERGY BILLS TO BE FROZEN FOR SIX MONTHS FOR BUSINESSES Energy bills for businesses will be frozen for six months, prime minister Liz Truss has announced. It is a huge contrast to the help offered to households which will see average energy bills capped at £2,500 for at least two years. The announcement means businesses will see energy bills capped at a similar price per unit - or kilowatt hour (kWh) - as households will pay under the government’s new plans. The scheme will run for six months - although a start date is yet to be confirmed - with any further support targeted at “vulnerable sectors”, including hospitality. Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will work with businesses to review where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support. This review will be concluded within three months “giving businesses certainty” the PM added. She added: “I recognise that people are struggling with their energy bills and that is why I have brought forward this debate as soon as possible to give people reassurance ahead of this winter that energy bills are going to be affordable.” It is believed that businesses on a fixed tariff will be able to either stay or leave and switch to the new state-subsidised tariffs with no exit penalties. The new rates are yet to be announced.

POUNDLAND ADDS FRESH FISH TO ITS SHELVES WITH COOKIT RANGE

Poundland is introducing cod and salmon fillets to its chiller aisles in what it says will help households keep a lid on food costs. The packs of two 90g fillets are priced at £3 each and are among 11 items in the cookit branded range which also includes ribs, steaks, bacon, sausages and mince. The range is being rolled into hundreds of stores over the coming weeks. It follows Poundland’s recent expansion into chilled and frozen foods, which will be in around 350 stores by the autumn, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables with the full range now in over 60 stores. Poundland’s commercial director Tim Bettley said: “Whether clothing, frozen food or homewares, over the past few years we’ve been significantly extending up what we offer our customers so they can find much more of their weekly shop in their local Poundland. “At the heart of that transformation is great products and we know customers are going to love our new cookit range - it gives them quality meat and fish at the amazing value we’re famous for. “We’re proud to be the first retailer to carry the range.” The discount retailer is working with Nottingham-based cookit owner DTS Food and using its ChillerFiller app which enables orders to be placed and delivered direct to individual or multiple stores, reducing food waste, improving product shelf life and cutting carbon emissions.

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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

For a FREE sample please call 01902 608122 or visit www.middletonfoods.com

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INDUSTRY NEWS 09.22

SCIENTISTS RECOMMEND 20% CUT IN 2023 BARENTS SEA COD QUOTA Norway and Russia have recommended a 20% cut in the Barents Sea cod quota and a 5% drop in the haddock quota for 2023. It comes as researchers from Norway’s Institute of Marine Research, which monitors fish stocks, estimate that the spawning stock of cod is now around 800,000 tonnes, the lowest since 2008. According to the scientists, no more than 566,784 tonnes should be caught in 2023, 20% less than this year. Last year the quota was also 20% lower than the previous year. “The cod population is falling, but we believe it will stabilise if our recommendations are followed”, says Bjarte Bogstad, a scientist for the northeast Arctic cod stock at the Institute of Marine Research. “The reduction in the recommended quota is limited by a management rule that prevents the quota from being cut by more than 20%”. The “max 20% rule” is considered a sustainable compromise between stability for fishers and long term yield. A quota of 566,784 tonnes would be the lowest it has been since 2009. The size of the stock has fallen every year since 2013, and the researchers most recently warned that it would continue to fall in last year’s quota advice. “We expect the stock to continue the decline also into the next quota before it levels out,” says Bjarte. “The cod population in the Barents Sea remains large and important, but the boom is over,” he continues. The researchers also recommend a quota of up to 170,067 tonnes for Northeast Arctic haddock, 5% lower than in 2022. Norwegian and Russian authorities will set the final quotas through the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission.

FISH AND CHIPS STILL BRITAIN’S MOST- WANTED PUB MEAL Fish and chips remains Britain’s favourite pub and bar meal - and there is plenty of headroom for growth at the premium end of the market - says research from consultancy CGA by NielsenIQ. A survey for its new ‘Food Insights 22’ report shows more than a quarter (28%) of consumers pick fish and chips as one of their three top dishes when eating out in pubs and bars. This puts it ahead of other favourites like carveries and roasts (24%), steak (22%), pizza (21%) and beef burgers (17%). While fish and chips has been a classic dish for decades, CGA’s in-depth report into out-of-home food trends flags significant opportunities to increase sales even further. It indicates that half (48%) of consumers would be willing to try a premium fish and chip restaurant or shop, while three in five (60%) say they are likely to pay more for a better quality version of the dish. Diners are also interested in exploring new variations on the meal, and more than a quarter say they would consider ordering options like tuna (29%), lobster (27%) and crab (27%) if they saw them on a fish and chip shop’s menu. Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “Britain’s consumers have never had such a wide choice of options when eating out, so it’s fascinating to see the appetite for fish and chips is undimmed. Even in very mature parts of the eating-out market like this, it’s encouraging to see there is still so much potential to grow sales, especially by helping people trade up to new alternatives and making fish and chip shops destinations in their own right. With spending on eating out under mounting pressure, tempting consumers with exciting twists on popular favourites like fish and chips will be a crucial tactic in the months ahead.” CGA’s ‘Food Insights 22’ report offers a wide range of data and expert analysis on many areas of out-of-home eating, to help suppliers and operators respond to the latest developments in consumers’ habits. It explores topics including emerging food trends, global cuisines, new menu options and the needs of consumers with dietary requirements.

NORWEGIAN SEAFOOD COUNCIL ANNOUNCES NEW UK DIRECTOR

Awards. Plus, a royal visit celebrating innovation and collaboration between Norway and the UK, showcasing Norway’s greatest export and Britain’s favourite dish, fish and chips.

law of the sea. She has previous experience as a political adviser to the minister of fisheries and the mayor of Tromsø Municipality. She continues: “Over the years, the NSC has collaborated with several key industry stakeholders in the UK. I’m excited to build on these great foundations and work together with importers, distributors, retail, and foodservice alike to further strengthen the seafood partnership between Norway and the UK. “The UK is among Norway’s closest allies and one of Norway’s major trading partners. Our relationship is one we value, and I hope to build on the outstanding work already undertaken in this market, and further develop our position in an exciting and important territory for whitefish.” Victoria looks set to hit the ground running with a host of ventures in the pipeline including sponsorships with the National Young Chef of the Year Awards and the National Fish and Chip

Victoria Braathen has been appointed the Norwegian Seafood Council’s (NSC) new envoy to the United Kingdom, replacing Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr. Victoria brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked with the NSC for six years holding various international posts, including director of the NSC in China until July 2021. She then returned to Norway to be head of market access and manager for its operations in Norway, and is now eager to step into the new role in one of the key markets for Norwegian seafood. Commenting on the new role as UK director, Victoria says: “I’m delighted to join the team in the UK. Working with the seafood industry is a huge privilege and I very much look forward to getting to know the market and stakeholders more closely.” Victoria, who comes from Tromsø, holds a law degree from the University of Bergen with a specialisation in commercial law and international

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INDUSTRY NEWS 09.22 GOOD FISH GUIDE HELPS MAKE SUSTAINABLE MENU CHOICES

Fish and chip shop owners are being reminded to consult the Marine Conservation Society’s (MCS) Good Fish Guide for the latest sustainable sourcing information when planning their next menu changes. With a new updated edition due to be released next month, the guide uses scientific advice to give a sustainability rating

HIGH PERFORMANCE FRYING OILS FROM KTC

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for over 130 species of fish and seafood based on which species it is, where it’s been caught or farmed, and which Longer life. Sustainably sourced. Traditional taste. Better value. Halal certified.

Amity Fish Company has won the Business Growth Award at the Herald Digital Transformation Awards held in Glasgow last month. The Scottish seafood supplier, based in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, was shortlisted alongside finalists Altar Group, Arran Sense of Scotland, NoTosh and Snappy Shopper in the category celebrating businesses that have used technology with significant results through the pandemic and beyond. On winning the award, Amity managing director Jimmy Buchan said: “We are delighted to receive this award! This is truly one for the whole team – without the support and hard work of them, none of this would have been possible.” The Digital Transformation awards recognise and reward Scottish businesses across all industries and sectors who are using digital technology in new and innovative ways. 69% of consumers withdraw cash less than once a week according to Zonal.

method is used. It uses a simple traffic light system of ratings: green is the Best Choice, amber is OK to Eat but improvements are needed, and red indicates Fish to Avoid. The current version features 141 Best Choice seafood options with new additions including North Sea herring and sardines caught off the south and southwest coasts of the UK. However, there were many species that slipped down the ratings since the previous version including monkfish from the North Sea & west of Scotland which became a Fish to Avoid. With some species having mixed ratings depending on where and how they are caught, the advice is to always check the Good Fish Guide. Visit www.goodfishguide.org for more information and to download the app. Whatever you want from your frying oil, you’ll find it at KTC

KTC SWITCHES TO 100% CERTIFIED SEGREGATED SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL

KTC Edibles, one of Britain’s largest independent distributor of edible oils, is now offering only 100% segregated certified sustainable palm oil to its customers. This marks the successful achievement of its 2019 pledge to switch to RSPO-certified sustainable

the company had offered a selection of certified sustainable options, including segregated and Mass Balance (a mix of uncertified and certified palm oil), alongside a smaller quantity of non- certified palm. Over the last three years, KTC has been phasing out the remainder of these non-certified and lower certification palm products, replacing them with certified segregated sustainable options. To drive this transition, the company has been engaging with and educating customers on the benefits of sustainable alternatives, developing new products and proactively encouraging them to make the switch. Gary Lewis, chief commercial officer at KTC, said: “We recognise the social and environmental

impact of our business and wider supply chain. Palm oil can be a truly sustainable option, as long as it’s grown in a responsible manner – and today, 100% of the palm we offer is RSPO certified segregated sustainable. “We’re really proud to have achieved the milestone on schedule – and it’s the blueprint for the future direction of the KTC brand. We will continue to make improvements on sustainable palm while working hard to improve the sustainability credentials of other key commodities.” KTC Edibles operates sites in Wednesbury and Liverpool and supplies more than 250m litres of cooking oils a year to customers across the food industry.

segregated palm oil by the end of 2022, after signing up to the

RSPO Shared Responsibility Initiative. Previously,

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Give customers condence with Seafood from Norway 87 % of diners agree sustainable fish is important to them, but only one quarter know what to look for when visiting their local fish & chip shop. Serve Seafood from Norway cod and haddock to give your customers confidence that they are choosing delicious protein from a country that takes great pride in its fishing methods and rich heritage delivering superior quality and sustainability credentials.

Cold Clear Waters World’s Largest Cod Stocks Fresh from Pure Waters Pioneering Stock Management

Origin Matters.

seafoodfromnorway.co.uk

WHAT’S NEW

Hot lid dispensers keep counters tidy

Foodservice Equipment Marketing (FEM) has introduced two new sizes of San Jamar’s EZ-Fit in-counter hot lid dispensers which provide a quick, neat and tidy way for customers to access lids for their hot drinks. Available in small for lids with a 76-95mm rim diameter, and large for lids with 95-101mm rim diameter, the dispensers have four interchangeable rubber gaskets to accommodate a variety of lid shapes and sizes while a one-at-a-time dispensing mechanism safeguards lids from contamination and cuts down on mess and waste. Priced at £115, Ez-fit hot lid dispensers can be paired up with Ez-Fit cold lid dispensers and box systems, and Venue napkin dispensers for a full dispensing solution. FEM 01355 244111 www.fem.co.uk

Trio of potato products boast crunchy-staying power Wedges, sweet potato fries and shoestring fries have been added to the Country Range Double Crunch line-up of potato products. Featuring a double coating of batter for extra crunch, the thick-cut wedges are made from Fontane potatoes and will hold their crunch for over 20 minutes. Thin cut sweet potato fries, made with Beauregard sweet potatoes, retain their crunch for over 20 minutes, while its lightly seasoned 7mm shoestring fries - also made from Fontane potatoes - stay crunchy for over 40 minutes. Ideal for food-to-go or delivery menus, the new range is available in 4 x 2.5kg boxes, is gluten free and fried in sunflower oil. Country Range 0845 209 3777 www.countryrange.co.uk

Stay on top of toast demands

Shmoo vendable powders serve shakes at the touch of a button

Foodservice Equipment Marketing (FEM) has introduced the

Pujadas four and six- slot toasters to help outlets keep up with the high demand for toasted menu items. Featuring an energy-saving switch, users can select how many slices are being toasted, while a timer function

Shmoo milkshake powders are now available in a format specifically developed for use in self-serve cold/chilled vending machines. Available in four of Shmoo’s most popular flavours - vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and banana - the vending powders transform into a shake in seconds with just the addition of water. Sharing the same creamy texture that blended Shmoo shakes are renowned for, the new blendable Shmoo powders are gluten free and vegetarian. Aimia Foods 01942 4086000 www.aimiafoods.com

alters the degree of toasting. Constructed from stainless steel, both sizes have generous slot dimensions of 25mm x 145mm, big enough for thick slices, speciality breads, buns, and bagels. The four slice toaster produces up to 120 slices per hour, measures 370 mm(w) x 210 mm(h) x 230 mm(d) with a power of 1.8kw, while the six slice toaster produces 180 slices per hour, measures 460 mm(w) x 210 mm(h) x 230 mm(d) and has a power of 2.5kw. List prices start at £310. FEM 01355 244111 www.fem.co.uk

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BIG INTERVIEW

Cutting down the menu, turning off the ovens and installing solar panels, Emir Hikary, owner of Hiks in Swansea, is covering all bases to ensure he makes ends meet

You’ve got a takeaway and 42-seater restaurant, how is trade? It was okay up until about April/May time. I think what’s gone against us is the fact people haven’t travelled in two or three years so a lot have gone away on holiday. Weather-wise we’ve had a great summer and I think people headed to the beach or had BBQs, fish and chips was the last thing on their minds. To top it off, the rising costs of everything is starting to take effect which means the summer hasn’t been great. I think come October/November when the cold weather starts, that’s when the crunch is really going to happen and people will start saying they can’t afford to go out. Is there anything you are planning to do differently? Unfortunately, prices are going to have to go up again. I’ve got 16 staff to worry about; I need to keep the doors open for them. The big issue is my electric bill which has gone up this month from around £7,000 a year to £30,000 so I’m looking at a 15p increase on everything, taking our large cod and chips to about £9.

Have your fish sales been impacted by price rises? Our fish sales have dropped this summer, but we generally are still quite a busy shop for fish. We don’t do a lot of different species, just do cod and plaice. You have quite a varied menu including roast dinners, how did they come about? We started with roast dinners when we had just the takeaway. Back then we were probably averaging about 40 dinners; now we average anything from 100 to 150 and it’s good because the profit margin is higher than on fish and chips. But even with that, the profit margins are starting to be squeezed. For instance, chicken breasts, where we used to be paying £27 a box that has shot up to about £45 a box. So we’ve taken chicken off and now we sell just beef or turkey. You are open for breakfasts too, how does that help sales? When we moved into the premises five years ago we started serving breakfast every

morning apart from a Sunday. Even if we didn’t do the breakfast, the staff would be in by 9-10 o’clock to prepare to open up the chip shop so by having the restaurant there it’s generating income from the time we open. Breakfasts now are probably about 10-20% of our sales. Can you anticipate making any changes to the menu? Yes, next month we are going to simplify our menu and shrink it down. The reason is not to do with the workforce or anything, but it’s looking at ways we can save on electric by not selling items that use the ovens or the steam oven, for example, and concentrating on things that can go through the fryer as that’s on anyway. Things like garlic breaded mushrooms and seafood platters that you can buy frozen. Last time we spoke you had just installed solar panels. How are they working out? They have been really good. Over the summer we’ve saved between £500 and £800 a month. I’m not sure how that will compare

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BIG INTERVIEW

How confident are you about investing in the business currently? At the moment we are trying to invest as little as possible just in case something happens and we need the money for something else. But it’s my shop, I own it, so I’m always going to invest because it’s going to give me a return, it’s going to feed my family. If something breaks, I fix it there then because otherwise you just end up with a bigger repair bill later on. What are you doing to stay positive? We have entered The National Fish & Chip Awards and the Fry Awards so we’ll see how we get on. I think it’s good publicity for the business if we get anywhere and, if we don’t, it’s a checkup for the business. We have a report that lets us know where we’ve gone wrong and then I can look at ways of improving it for the next year. I’m also hoping this year to have a staff party. I know it’s an added cost but without my staff I wouldn’t be where I am and I want to say thank you to them. After all, their cost of living has gone up too. We’ve also started sitting down once a month and choosing an item from the menu and whoever up-sells the most of that item gets a £20 bonus. It’s a bit of fun and, as the tills tell you by clerk who sold the exact amount, it’s a good for me because I can see which staff haven’t been up-selling.

Are you confident the industry will survive?

I think so although if you’re looking to make money for the next year or two, you’re definitely in the wrong business. My aim is to break even, if we do that then we’ve done very well. What about the future after we come out of this? I think as an industry we’ll be much stronger. It will bounce back as it did after Coronavirus, that changed everything and

“I’m also hoping this year to have a staff party. I know it’s an added cost but without my staff I wouldn’t be where I am and I want to say thank you to them.”

over the winter without the sunshine and with the increases in the price of electricity, but it’s still a saving and we hope to have recouped our investment of £22,000 in about four years. We did go for the biggest set-up we could, I think we have about 40 panels! It’s been great from a customer perspective

we learned so much. For instance, I used to have nine or ten staff working Friday nights but Covid taught me I didn’t need that many to run the shop. It made me realise for the last three to four years I had been losing so much money on things I didn’t need.

too, they can see that we invest back into the business. We’re always looking at ways of improving, whether it’s the quality of the food or the appearance of the shop. We’ve recently upgraded the staff uniforms and our TV screens.

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MONEY

As energy and food prices soar, making a saving here and a saving there could help balance the books. Some will require a little investment and not all will suit your business, but being open to working more efficiently is essential right now

1 Get a set of scales, a sharp knife and cut your fish to an exact weight. Creating a template fish that all others should replicate can really help. Use any off-cuts in homemade items like fishcakes, croquettes or kids fish bites to maximise profits. 2 Fill peas, beans, curry sauce and gravy just short of the lid to save just a little This will also create less mess and fewer spillages.

5 Drywhite chips to ensure any left overs can be carried over to the next day. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and that stock rotation is clear so these are used first.

6 LED lights use up to 90% throughout the entire shop.

less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs so fit them

3 Ensure fridge and freezer seals are in tip-top condition with no cracks or tears so as to maintain an air-tight seal. This will ensure no cool air is lost and that appliances are working energy efficiently.

“If you’ve got a pan on just for a few small items, try using a basket in a pan that is already getting used heavily and close that spare pan off to save on gas.”

Dave Atkinson, managing director, ME-FF

7 At the end of a shift unplug anything that is not necessary as some equipment will draw energy simply by being plugged in. Turn any devices off standby mode, such as menu screens, and educate your staff so they are energy aware too. 8 Let over mushy

peas? Make pea fritters ready to batter and fry the following day.

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MONEY

9 Get paid for used cooking oil. Speak to your wholesaler or a reputable collector, such as Olleco or Arrow Oils, as you could be getting up to 70p per litre back. Make sure oil is stored correctly, safely and securely and that you receive and retain a waste transfer note.

12 Regularly defrost your fridge and freezer as the more they ice up the more energy they will use. Make sure they are running at the correct temperatures (-18°C for your freezer, 3°C for your fridge and 1°C for your fish fridge) and bear in mind that a full freezer is more economical to run as the cold air does not need to circulate as much, so less power is needed.

11 Lots of lemons left over? Cut them into wedges and freeze while still fresh. These can be added to drinks instead of, or as well as, ice.

14 Put a lid on boiling pans as this can save up to half the energy. Turn off the gas half way through cooking and let items cook in the residual heat. Make sure you temperature probe to ensure food is up to a safe temperature.

13 Check grants search

16

services, like Grants Online at www. grantsonline.org.uk

Train your staff in up-selling and cross-selling. One extra bottle of drink or carton of mushy peas per order will soon add up across the month.

18 Randomly weigh bags of potatoes to make sure you are getting what you are paying for and use a timer to make sure you don’t over-rumble your spuds and lose valuable product. 15 Promote your food hygiene rating to help increase the number of customers coming through the door and ordering online. The Food Standards Agency has lots of free resources including images and banners for use on websites at www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/making-the-most-of-your-business-rating 17 Ask your local council about small business support

funding, including sustainable business growth grants. You will normally need to submit supporting evidence to apply. 19 Keep in regular contact with your suppliers and make the most of their promotions. And ask what free support they can offer whether it’s free samples or posters to drive sales.

“Put a timer on your drinks fridge. You don’t need to keep your cans cold overnight and by doing this you can reduce your electricity on that fridge by 50%.” Kaylee Herbert, Harlees Fish & Chips, Dorset and Somerset

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MONEY

21 Chip scoops

and boxes used

correctly will help address portion control and can reduce what you give away. 22 Contact your energy company to see if they offer schemes or grants to help you improve your business energy efficiency, which can reduce costs. For example, some offer subsidies on the upfront costs for more energy efficient equipment. Some even offer business hardship funds.

“Towards the end of the night when it’s getting quiet, turn your hot box off and use an over pan drainer for draining those final few products. This way you can clean your hot box while saving energy.”

Gordon Hillan, area sales manager for Scotland, KFE

24 Cooking to order will help reduce wastage but if you have a hot box of food ready and at the end of the night you have excess, look at food sharing apps like Too Good To Go where you can bag it up and sell it at a much discounted rate, still bringing in a few pounds. 23 Consider investing in energy display monitors to see what pieces of equipment are consuming the most energy and at what times. This will help you identify any changes that can be made to help reduce this.

“We ask every customer if they want a bag before giving them one. It’s good for the environment and saves us 17p a time. We’ve given a lot of our regulars a reusable thermal bag as we find over the course of the year it pays for itself and some.”

John Molnar, The Cod’s Scallops

26 Pizza is highly profitable but don’t just think whole pizzas. Serve by the slice at lunchtimes with chips. It’s more affordable and likely to sell for lunchtime trade, plus the profits are higher compared with selling a full pizza.

27 Endocube devices placed on your refrigerator’s thermostat sensor can save between 15-30% on refrigeration bills. They work by using the temperature of stored food to control the refrigeration cycle, rather than relying on fluctuating air temperatures.

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If you offer click and collect, why not add an offer to the bottom of customersʻ receipts offering a 10% or 15% discount off any additional items they purchase on pick-up?

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SHOP FOCUS

Investing, adapting and listening have helped a small takeaway make a big splash in the coastal town of Ramsgate in Kent

Looking through faded photos of the building his parents owned - encompassing Newington Fish Bar on one corner and a hairdressers on the other - with his Ford Capri parked neatly outside, Nigel Derrett is proud of the changes he’s made to the chippy in Ramsgate, Kent, since taking it over in 1980. Back then, he and his brother Ken had both quit their jobs as chefs, swapping their long, unsociable hours for a job share that saw Nigel do the lunchtime shifts and Ken the evening, leaving plenty of time for both to be with their young families. “At the time, a lot of people saw it as a step backwards and said why do you want to leave your jobs as chefs to work in a greasy chippy,” says Nigel. “But we always knew we wanted to be something better. We never considered it a quick job or anything like that, it was always going to be a long-term investment. “Everything we did, any profit we made was ploughed back into the business - new equipment, changes to the shop - we were continually improving all the time, making things better, improving our fish and chips, the

image, everything.” The first chip shop in Kent to achieve the 5-star Quality Award from Seafish - now run by the NFFF - Newington Fish Bar has gone on to achieve MSC certification - buying only sustainably sourced frozen at sea cod and haddock - it chips and peels its own potatoes which are sourced from a farm just 10 miles away, and in 2019 introduced environmentally friendly packaging when it moved to bio-boxes and paper bags. And over the past few years, the trophy cabinet has had a boost with the chippy making the Top 20 in the National Fish & Chip Awards 2018 and the Fry Top 50 Takeaways in 2021. “We’ve changed the concept of the little corner, greasy chippy into what we consider is a professionally run catering establishment,” remarks Nigel, who is supported by a team of 12 staff, his brother now retired. Price rises With approximately 70% of the shop’s sales fish and chips, Newington has been hit hard by the price of fish skyrocketing since the

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SHOP FOCUS

to plate one, and the most recent has been on all the staff and how we run the shop. I know they’re a bit cringe-worthy but I’ve had quite a few customers come in and say they like them because they are real.” Community Located on the main road which runs between Ramsgate and the next seaside town of Margate, Newington benefits from a lot of through traffic, although it’s the housing estates to the front, back and sides that generate the main bread and butter. It’s a community that the fish bar is keen to support with regular fundraising events, fun days outside the shop, supplying vouchers for raffle prizes and free meals for children during school holidays. Nigel adds: “In the spring half term this year, things were getting hard for people so we decided to offer free meals to children again. A local charity that supports families on low incomes asked if they could put a table in the shop with free fruit for the children so, of course, we said yes. We did nearly 1,200 meals that week and the feedback from the community was so positive and far outweighed the cost of giving the food away.” Taking a positive attitude to the business, Nigel is always keen to come up with new ideas and move with the times. While a spell offering gluten free fish and chips didn’t work out, grilled fish and salads have, with sales growing all the time. As have their homemade burgers since Nigel changed the way they are marketed,

creating a new section called ‘from the griddle’ and letting customers build their own burgers. Nigel has also got leaner with opening hours. Instead of operating a split shift and closing at 10pm six days a week, now it’s straight through from 11am to 9pm. “That last hour was always a bit slow,” admits Nigel. “I gain more now by closing up that hour early and being open for those two hours in the afternoon. The idea of having a shop that opens for lunch then closes and opens for dinner is old-fashioned, people want you to be open when they want you open. Plus these hours work much better for us.” With the facilities to put another range in a room out the back and operate a separate business running deliveries, there’s plenty of scope for Nigel to grow the business should he want to expand in the future. Being in the industry for over 40 years, Nigel has picked up a host of useful advice and says if there is one thing he can pass on it’s to stay engaged - get involved in competitions and awards, listen to others in the trade, follow the Facebook pages for the industry and read articles. “I remember reading an article by Kelly Barnes of Krispies years ago talking about how she took on an older chap to do her chips. I was in the same situation, I had some youngsters do it who then moved on to other jobs. I had a chap apply who initially I thought was a bit old, but I remembered what Kelly had said and I gave him the job, I haven’t looked back since.”

beginning of the year. Like all chippies, menu prices have had to increase, with cod and chips shooting up from £6 at the beginning of the year to £9.10 currently. “My prices have gone up about five times this year,” says Nigel. “I was getting embarrassed at how many times I was putting them up. Initially, I thought, I can’t go this high, but I had to because otherwise we were going to go under.” Nigel has proactively added hake as an alternative to cod and haddock at half the price but it’s made very little difference, adding: “We’ve promoted and pushed that quite a bit this year, I’ve even said to customers if you don’t like it you can have your money back, but they still come back to cod or haddock.” Even with implementing price increases, it’s not enough to cover all the rises the business is facing and so profit margins have taken a hit, running around 10-15% less than at the beginning of the year. “It’s hard trying to make ends meet,” says Nigel. “I’m trying to cut back where I can but it’s difficult, especially as my staff need higher wages now. I want to put the wages up for my manageresses to show them I appreciate them; my staff are the essence of the shop.” Despite the pressures, Nigel retains a positive outlook, especially when communicating with his customers, which he does more and more these days by posting videos on Facebook. “I’ve created a field to fork one, an ocean

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