National Fish & Chip Day boosted trade for chippies across the UK with sales up by 40% for some shops as awareness of the event was at its highest since the initiative was launched three years ago.
Hirds Family Fisheries in Halifax, West Yorkshire, built up momentum in the weeks leading up to the day by offering five free portions of fish and chips for two on Facebook and Twitter, as well as displaying posters and bunting. Owner Adam Hird comments: “We had a fantastic day, it was relentless from 11.30am to 8.00pm and we were up 40% on our normal Friday, which we put down to National Fish and Chip Day. I can't wait for the next one. Or even better for every Friday to be like that!”
It was a similar picture in other parts of the UK too. Frydays in Kendall, Cumbria, reported takings up by 35%. Owner Janice Dickens comments: “We decorated the shop with bunting and flags, the staff all dressed in full Union Jack t-shirts, we advertised in the local gazette and had free chocolate fish and chips on the counter for our customers. We were extremely busy which we think was a combination of school holidays and the coverage of National Fish and Chip Day.”
spearheading the initiative once again, producing press releases and toolkits for shops to utilise, running product giveaways and driving awareness on social media, it wasn’t long before #nationalfishandchipday was trending on Twitter, even knocking Donald Trump off the number one spot.
Some big names also leant their weight to the cause with chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver going head to head on Twitter, while Sara Cox talked about the day on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show. There were also mentions on Lorraine on ITV, TalkSport and Five Live as well as coverage in newspapers including The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Star and The Metro.
It was this media coverage that many shops have to thank for the increase in trade. Carl Heery, owner of Buxton Place in Derbyshire, admits to only putting up a poster and an A-board, yet saw trade increase 15-20% on the Friday before and the same Friday last year.
Carl comments: “We had people mention National Fish & Chip Day when they came in and one asked about it on the phone.”
In Gosport, Hampshire, Scott Turner, owner of Scott’s Plaice, did the same, putting up a few posters and advertising the day on Facebook yet saw trade increase a staggering 100%. Scott comments: “It’s hard to say how much was a result of National Fish & Chip Day and how much was due to our local competition being shut, but a lot of customers were certainly mentioning that they knew it was National Fish and Chip Day.”
As well as organising for Kingfisher
to have a prime spot frying fish and chips outside Trinity House in London, NEODA also arranged for mobile unit Long John’s to serve fish and chips to the crew of HMS Duncan and HMS Daring at the Royal Navy base at Portsmouth Dockyard.
This exclusive location saw 350 portions of fish and chips served over the lunchtime period to servicemen and women, some of whom had just returned from a nine month deployment. Owner Jon Long comments: "It was a great honour to be able to serve up the nation’s favourite dish to the Royal Navy in recognition of National Fish and Chip Day. The Royal Navy serve fish and chips on all their ships throughout the world every Friday and we felt very proud to be part of this."
Talking about the success of this year’s event, NEODA’s secretary general, Lynda Simmons, said: “We are absolutely delighted to see how much excitement and enthusiasm there is around the industry for National Fish and Chip Day. We are proud to bring this awareness day to the nation and be able to specifically recognise all those who work so hard to deliver the nation’s favourite dish.
“The NEODA name has become synonymous with National Fish and Chip Day!”
Both events at Trinity House and Portsmouth Dockyard were generously funded by NEODA members and special thanks goes to: AAK, ADM, Blakemans, Drywite, Duncrue Food Processors, Friars Pride, Kassero, Kerry Foods, KFE, Henry Colbeck, Isle of Ely, JL Owen, Middleton Foods, The Q Partnership, Seafish, Silbury, VA Whitley and Vandemoortele. The supplies used on the day were donated by Atlantika, Friars Pride, Henry Colbeck, JJ Foodservice; Leinebris; Seafood Norway; Smales, T Quality and VA Whitley.
You can find out more about the work that NEODA does within the fish and chip industry in our interview with Lynda Simmons in the July issue of Fry Magazine.
How others celebrated National Fish & Chip Day
Longsands Fish Kitchen, North Shields
, involved the whole town by hiding sea creatures within local businesses and issuing clues on social media as to their whereabouts. Those lucky enough to find one and return it to the chippy were awarded with a prize.
Simpsons Fish & Chips, Cheltenham
, asked customers to vote for their favourite fish and offered a 10% discount on the one with the most votes on the day. The winner, naturally, was cod!
Burton Road, Lincoln
, gave away over 500 free portions of fish and chips and raised £910 for The Fishermen’s Mission.
, created its own Snapchat filter so customers could take selfies with a National Fish & Chip Day frame.
ran a competition for friers who shared, tweeted and liked a post on social media offering a year’s free NFFF membership. The lucky winner was Genie Fish & Chips in Newtown Powys, Wales.
sent salesmen Nikki Williams and Gordon Hillan to cover a shift in customers’ shops, while Tom Hughes lent a hand at Long John’s in Portsmouth along with Alan Pearce of Kerry Foods
. The whole KFE team also took part in a video
message wishing everyone a happy National Fish & Chip Day.
announced the winners of its Unique Dishes campaign, which invited fish and chip shops to submit their ‘signature dish’ via social media for the chance to win an online ordering website. The winners are: Merdian Fish Bar in Watford, Burton Road Chippy in Lincoln, Poppies in London, The Chip Inn in Whitwell, and Kingfisher in Kingston.