For the fourth time in the shop’s history we have a new Frying Range. This is the most important piece of equipment in the shop, as this is what cooks all of our delicious Fish & Chips!
Originally the shop was installed with a coal-fired range, which must have been a nightmare to keep the temperatures steady. When Jim Mitchell took over the shop he had an electric range fitted, using three phase electricity. Jim’s son Colin had a Frank Ford gas range fitted in 1975, and this is the range that has been in use for the last 42 years!
Times change though, and modern ranges have much better safety systems and are more efficient, and with changes to the gas safety regulations it was time for a change.
From Saturday to Monday I removed the old range, poured concrete to level the floor, and laid new commercial flooring. Then from Monday to Wednesday SPH Specialist Services installed the new range. There was a slight delay due to a part taking longer to make than expected, and there were some teething issues, but everything is installed and the new range will hopefully see us through many years to come!
I like to think that listening to what customers want is the best way to make sure everyone gets what they want, and over the last few weeks we’ve had some suggestions that sparked a couple of ideas that I’ve now put into place.
Every now an then we get people asking whether we do meal deals, and although we have always offered a small Fish & Chips meal, people have asked for different combinations. So we’ve watched what people tend to buy together and come up with a couple of additions we think will offer people the things they want while saving them money at the same time.
- Small Meal: A small Fish & Chips with either a Small Sauce or a Teacake for £4.60.
- Medium Meal: A regular size Fish & Chips with either a Small Sauce or a Teacake for £5.40.
- Large Meal: A regular size Fish & Chips with a 330ml Canned Drink and either a Small Sauce or a Teacake for £6.10.
Now whatever your hunger you can find a meal deal to save yourself some money too!
Over the last few weeks we’ve had customers asking for Pickled Onions and Pickled Eggs. These are not to everyone’s tastes, but they’re a staple of a traditional chippy, so we’ve decided to give them a go. At 25p for Onions and 50p for Eggs they’re a tasty addition to any meal.
These are just a couple of things we’ve been working on, but there may be more to come later – so please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any suggestions.
We’ve had some exceptional news today with the receipt of our Fry Magazine 50 Best Fish & Chip Shops 2017 results – We have been placed as one of the top 50 Fish & Chip shops in the UK for three years in a row – a feat only a select few shops have ever achieved!
Fry Magazine are an industry leading trade magazine who operate a yearly review of Fish & Chip shops by use of a mystery shopper – we never know when the visits will be, so this is a true test of how we serve customers and the consistent quality of our food. The mystery shopper assesses various aspects ranging from a telephone call to the quality of the food and scores us against fixed parameters, so the scoring is fair across the country.
This year we lot points on two sections – incidentally the same sections we lot points on last year. The first was our answerphone, which at the time the reviewer called was the default bland message of the telephones we had installed. I have since added a musical on hold message which provides all the information you need and lets you hold until we answer. The second area we lost points on is a contentious one for me – we were marked down for not suggesting the customer bought extra items. Personally I believe in asking the customer what they want rather than pushing them to buy things they might not really want.
I am however very pleased with the reviewers personal comments, specifically the last two paragraphs which stated “It was the best fish and chips I had tasted in a long time.” and “I would definitely recommend to friends and family.”. Whatever awards and reviews a shop gets – these are the words that mean the most, and I am very proud of what I and my team offer.
As per the previous years, I am more than happy to provide the whole review so you can see everything we have been tested on and how we fared.
On the 26th November 2016 we were broken into. At that time I left the coins in the tray in the till, and he took those as well as the tray from the till and the Charity box. The culprit was identified by a fingerprint he left on the side of the till, caught on the 6th December and sentenced to 18 weeks in prison. He was also on licence for earlier crimes so should have served more than that. In total the repairs cost me £380.
Apparently he was released early though, as just 9 weeks later we were broken into again, and it turned out it was the same guy! This time he wore gloves, was surprised to find no cash in the till and instead broke open the drawers on the office desk, but left empty handed as we now lock everything of value in the safe. He dropped a cigarette butt outside the shop, which the police got DNA from and caught him on the 3rd March, sentencing him the following day for 13 weeks.
Given the lax prison service presumably releasing him after serving half his sentence again, I expect to see him again around the 19th of April!