Craig Maw and Nikki Mutton visited 16 shops in four countries over three weeks, sharing their knowledge and picking up tips themselves
Through our amazing industry we have gained many friends across the UK. We often said (as you do) “we will come and visit you and your shop one day,” sadly we never had or made the time. Until recently!
It has taken us a while to hone and shape a team we can trust to run our shop the way we wanted. In October we are going to Japan to promote the Kingfisher brand and serve thousands of portions of fish and chips. Having never been away from the shop for more than a week, we opted to embark on a journey around the UK to visit some amazing shops and give our more than capable team some much needed experience of standing on their own. We work very hard in our shop, it is our pride and joy, our baby, and we had to have the confidence to leave them. Our team had to be tested before October.
Our plan was to circumnavigate a few fish and chip shops in and around the UK. Out of our very busy lives we were going to take three or four days each week over three consecutive weeks to visit shops in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland in that order. We wanted to share our experience, and give encouragement where needed.
Before we started we had no real idea how our journey would pan out. Little did we realise that it would far exceeded our expectations. The reception at every shop we visited was fantastic. We were provided with tours of their shops, provided with fish and chips and were able to spend some time with some passionate people in our industry — and we loved every minute of it. Put two or more friers in a room and the conversation can, and will, go on for hours. Is this unique to our industry? I think so. We spent hours talking about fish and chips and our industry, exchanging knowledge and sharing ideas, it’s what makes us all better, it’s the evolution of fish and chips.
Every shop we visited was different in its style, the food it served and the way it operated, but the one thing that stood out from it all was how passionate everyone was. What is very evident is that people work hard in our industry, hard at creating a great environment for their customers and, of course, creating great fish & chips.
We are not arrogant enough to say we know everything, because we don’t. You never stop learning in our industry as we regularly find out. We came back from our UK tour recharged and fired up, having gained some knowledge and having the association from likeminded people. With all the flying and driving and the many miles we have laid down, we were exhausted at the end but it was worth it.
You may or may not have the team to do what we did, but if ever you get the opportunity, try to get out of your shop and visit friers and their shops, even for just a day. You will come back to your business with a fresh pair of eyes, hopefully reinvigorated and having learned something to put back into your business.
We wanted to visit more of our friends and their shops, but we couldn’t, time made it impossible. However, it is on our radar to visit more, because there is so much to see, learn and pass on.
This is a special industry with special people in it and the friendships we have made has enriched our lives and our view on the industry.
We would like to thank everyone for taking time out of their busy lives to spend some time with us, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.