Exhausted but still full of enthusiasm, Craig Maw and Nikki Mutton have finally returned back home after a month away from their shop
The last month or so our feet have barely touched the ground, almost quite literally, all in the name of fish and chips, of course.
When I finished up my last column we had just left Fukuoka, where we served 2,000 portions of fish and chips in just five days at Hankyu department store’s 50th annual British Fair, and arrived by bullet train (a fantastic way to travel, by the way) in Osaka.
Here, our pop-up Kingfisher was on the ninth floor of the huge department store, which is styled very similarly to Harrods.
Opening time was 10am but with only Nikki and myself to prep and fry the food, our day started at 7.30am. By 10.01am, our floor was flooded with people rushing to be first in the queue – imagine the doors opening for Black Friday or the January sales and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the chaos that ensued! By 10.02am, we were on the back foot cooking as fast as we could for a queue 50 deep. That was the scene for the whole day until the store closed at 9pm. Everyone wanted to try our fish and chips, everyone wanted to see us – amazing!
We had originally planned for 8,000 portions of fish and chips to be served, but had to order extra emergency supplies. In the end, we hit a total of 9,000 portions and achieved a high of 1,420 portions in just one day. We left Japan exhausted but satisfied; we had achieved everything we had come to do and more.
We arrived in the UK late on a Friday, with Saturday to ‘rest’ and then on Sunday we headed to Scotland for the start of #FishNChipTrip.
This was a UK PR tour, championing fish and chips, Kingfisher and the National Fish & Chip Awards’ 30th year.
We packed up our ‘Kingfisher on the GO’ van and set about visiting five cities - Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, and London. On our tour we served a further 2,000 portions completely free of charge to some very happy fish and chip fans. Just like in Japan, the long queues kept us busy but it was great to meet so many different characters on the way and get such fantastic feedback. We also had lots of support from friends within our industry.
So, it’s been a crazy few weeks involving thousands of miles and around 11,000 portions of fish and chips. We made some fantastic friends, had incredible support and hopefully spread a little fish and chip joy far and wide.
The whole experience has reinforced what we always say - everyone really does love fish and chips.
With no scheduled rest this year, we are straight back in our shop and I have to say it’s a fantastic feeling, we have genuinely missed it. Our shop is our baby, so to be away from it for so long was difficult for us. But thanks to our fantastic team which we had to build up and the systems we have in place, allowed us the time and opportunity to have our fantastic fish and chip adventure.