Since opening The Trawler, a fish and chip takeaway and 30 cover restaurant in Golspie, Sutherland, 12 years ago, owner Christie Gray has used various batters from Middleton Food Products.
For the last three, he’s been on Middleton’s Classic after it had an instant impact on business, increasing sales straight away due to the quality and consistency. Christie comments: “Taking away all the costs and things that we can’t help, such as staffing issues, the biggest thing that affects businesses like ours is inconsistency and that’s always the battle, but having consistency with our batter has really helped us thrive.”
Seeing the difference it had on trade, Christie was keen to do the same at his second shop, The Fryery in nearby Beauly, which he acquired five years ago. However, he faced resistance from some staff members who felt customers wouldn’t appreciate change. Instead of taking his word for it, Christie called up Middletons who sent in their sales manager for Scotland, Colin Cromar.
“I knew we could do better than this flabby, over-mixed batter they had been using, we already were doing much better at Golspie,” says Christie.
“Colin came up, he brought all the different Middleton batters and he did a blind tasting. All the staff picked Middleton’s Blend 30.“
Colin spent the day teaching staff how to make the batter – thinner proved best for them – and how to use it, and before long they were all on board.
“The comments from customers have been fantastic,” says Christie. “Blend 30 is a nice light batter with lots of peaks and crispy bits in it. But, more importantly, the staff are on board and are all enthusiastic about it. That comes down to Middletons showing them how to tweak it so our shop gets the best out of it.
“With Middletons you’re not only getting quality products but their knowledge and support. You’re dealing with people who aren’t just selling batter, but who know the industry, who have a lifetime of experience in the fish and chip industry, and that’s invaluable.”
With Beauly now thriving too, Christie has expanded the gluten free menu by adding Middleton’s Gluten Free Curry Sauce and Gluten Free Gravy. He adds: ”A lot of people are choosing to go gluten free as a choice, they don’t need to but they are doing it for health reasons. We’ve got people coming in now who have never had fish, chips and curry sauce or fish, chips and gravy before.
“I’d say takings have gone up 30% week-on-week and, whereas The Fryery was never a big fish shop, now it is and that’s what you want.
“I stand by the Middleton products, I really do because we’ve had someone show us how to use them, we’ve now serving a better product and it’s not cost us anything. Even if they were more expensive, I still think they would be worth paying for.”
Middleton Food Products 01902 608122 www.middletonfoods.com