New opportunities was the focus at the Fish Frying & Fast Food Show

Home » Features » Batter » New opportunities was the focus at the Fish Frying & Fast Food Show
TQ Show

The T.Quality Fish Frying & Fast Food Show on Sunday 9th June provided an arena for operators to source new products, discuss up-and-coming trends and discover ways to move their businesses forward

Once again visitors to this year’s T.Quality Fish Frying & Fast Food Show, held at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher, Surrey, came from far and wide with shops attending from destinations including the Isle of Wight, Glasgow and Devon. As the day went on, it became apparent very quickly that there was a different feel to this year’s show. 

Conversations and questions were clearly focused on subjects such as ‘What do you have that is new?’, ‘How can I put that on my menu?’ and ‘What can I add that will influence the average transaction?’ There was a genuine interest in new menu ideas and bettering business. 

Mike Crees, managing director at T.Quality, comments: “Those that attended wanted to understand what is different, what opportunities there are and what they are missing. 

“Exhibitors spent more time with visitors than ever before because more questions were being asked. And it wasn’t ‘What’s the cheapest fish?’ It was quality conversations around how operators can improve their business, how they can influence footfall, and how to drive up average transaction value by adding things like a side or a dessert to the menu. These are areas the fish and chip channel has been slow to adopt, but the conversation had turned from ‘should I add them to the menu?’ to ‘I know I need to but how do I sell it to the customer?” and “how do I package it so it travels safely?’ Exhibitors were on hand to solve these challenges for them.”

Not surprisingly stands that offered something new – like Rupert’s Ingredients –  were flat out all day. Sales marketing manager Calvin Harris described the show as having “a real community feel” with customers interested in its breadings, bastes and marinades in favour of extending their menus.

Showcasing the process of making and cooking the perfect-tasting fried chicken, he comments: “All are keen to diversify the hot food offerings to increase sales, such as fried chicken and Peri Peri, which appeal to everyone, serving the whole family when coming to a fish and chip shop.”

Similarly, Innovate Foods found visitors eager to sample its wide range of add-on items, with Simon Taylor-Clarke, national account manager, saying: “There was lots of interest in our Mozzarella Sticks, Mac & Cheese Bites, Halloumi Fries, Pizza Bites, Cream Cheese Jalapenos and Chilli & Cheese Nuggets as people were looking for better quality sides and also something different.

“Once they were drawn in, visitors spent more time with us trying all the products. We also spent time explaining how they were produced, but the point of interest was that they are all made here in the UK.”

Another key trend the show highlighted was the shift towards premium products in a bid to stand out amongst growing competition. Andrew Forster, senior associate manager at Tyson Foods, was impressed with the quality of visitors showing an interest in its Thai whole-muscle products specifically, adding: “There seemed to be more customers generally interested in the products. They seemed more engaging and interested in quality and more premium ended products rather than price.”

There was a real buzz around the Kerry Foods stand where a ton of free batter worth in the region of £1,500 was up for grabs. The lucky winner, drawn on the day, was Ancell’s Fish & Chips in Fleet. Owner Matthew said he was “over the moon” with his prize of 60 bags of Goldensheaf Standard. 

Meanwhile, Kerry Foods’ Frying Squad had many customers looking for the perfect batter mix for delivery, so Goldensheaf Smart Batter was a hot topic of conversation. With its unique holding capabilities, visits were arranged to sample and demo the product over the coming weeks.

Visitors were also keen to source products that opened up new markets, for example, gluten free. Dave Carpenter, national account manager at Kerry Foods, commented: “Gluten free was also a question a lot of customers were asking which we covered with Goldensheaf Gluten Free Batter Mix and Dinaclass Gluten Free Curry. Samples have been arranged for those looking at this avenue of menu expansion.”

Technology zones were also busy as visitors looked at how they could gain efficiencies and cost savings. Visitors to the SwiftOrder stand, for example, were keen to talk about taking orders online, either to reduce fees they and their customers are currently paying via the marketplace apps or to start offering an online service offering online to reduce phone calls and increase order values. 

Richard Fennell SwiftOrder: “It was great to showcase SwiftOrder, our online ordering platform that gives fish and chip owners their own branded online ordering site on which their customers can place orders. Shops have complete control of their menu and online store and best of all, there are no commission charges, meaning they can sell at shop prices if they wish.”

Its ‘three months free’ show offer was such a big hit that SwiftOrder has said that if anyone was at the show and didn’t manage to sign up it would honour the offer. Simply get in touch via

Likewise, PanaEpos was busy with a majority of the conversations around high charges from takeaway platforms and the control that those platforms are trying to enforce to prevent takeaways from increasing the online sales prices to cover the extra costs. Jason Bailey, sales manager, comments: “We spoke a lot about how our takeaway app is a set monthly amount with no commission and how customers have full control over pricing and all their customer database for marketing.”

With two competitions running during the show, a year’s free Touch Takeaway subscription with £500 worth of free hardware was won by Juss Jerk in North London. An EPoS solution with programming and installation, meanwhile, went to Barton Fish and Chips in Bedfordshire. 

Concluding, Mike Crees, comments: “Those that attended The Fish Frying & Fast Food Show were genuinely interested in future-proofing their businesses as the food wants are changing. We are all still eating, it’s our job to provide to the public what they want to eat. One thing is guaranteed, the trends we are seeing now, will be different again in five years because eating out is evolving and probably evolving quicker than we’ve ever seen it.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Basket