UK: Search for ‘fish and chip shop of the year’ begins –

UK: Search for ‘fish and chip shop of the year’ begins Published:  04 April, 2006

THE search to find Britain’s best fish and chip shop has begun again for this year’s award. Now in its 19th year, shop owners are being urged to enter the prestigious Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Competition 2006 to realise their dream of being crowned the best in the UK. With over 250 million fish and chip takeaway meals sold last year, the Competition, run by the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish), is seen as the perfect opportunity to boost sales and reinforce fish and chips as Britain’s favourite take-away.

Five major awards will be presented at a London ceremony in January 2007:

· Britain’s best fish and chip shop

· The 2nd best fish and chip shop in the UK

· The 3rd best fish and chip shop in the UK

· Staff Development & Training award

· Contribution To Local Community award

Last year’s winners, Nigel and Linda Hodgson of Hodgson’s Chippy in Lancaster have experienced a 30 per cent boost in sales in the six weeks after winning the UK title and have been inundated with customers from across the UK. Nigel said: “Entering the Competition is good business for many different reasons but mainly because it guarantees an increase in trade. We have already seen a 30 per cent rise in sales. People are coming from all over the UK to visit the shop. I served somebody recently who drove 150 miles for our fish and chips!”

“The publicity the shops get is unbelievable, from local media and further afield. We are local celebrities and gaining recognition from the local area has been really important.”

The Competition is split into 10 regions: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North East England, North West England, Midlands, Eastern England, London and the South East, Central and South England and the South West. Each region will be further divided into two areas, eg north Scotland and south Scotland. The exceptions are Northern Ireland and Wales which are each classified as single areas, and the Midlands region which is further sub-divided into three areas. In total there will be 19 area winning shops which will each receive an award and benefit from some excellent publicity. A further round of judging will determine ten regional winners (the top 10 shops in the UK) who will be invited to the London awards ceremony and will be given a table to invite friends, family and customers.

The awards are open to all shops with a take-away service. Customers will shortly be invited to vote for their favourite chippie, using voting forms available in shops. Once the nominations have been counted, Seafish send in mystery shoppers to judge respective shops across a wide number of criteria, including eg. shop quality, staff and shop cleanliness, customer service and friendliness of staff, menu and promotional activities, and of course the actual product itself.

Entering the Competition is easy and FREE. Simply complete and return the entry form which will shortly be posted to every fish and chip shop in the UK. Alternatively print your name, shop name, address and telephone number on a postcard or sealed envelope and send to: Sea Fish Industry Authority, 18 Logie Mill, Logie Green Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4HG, or e-mail is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.