Celebrate and commemorate 

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Shops across the UK found the perfect balance between celebrating National Fish & Chip Day and commemorating the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings on Thursday 6th June

When it was first announced that this year’s National Fish & Chip Day was moving to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, I have to say, I wasn’t a fan. It didn’t sit well with me that, as an industry, we might be seen to be cashing in on a day of remembrance. 

However, the way the industry responded – with sensitivity and thoughtful messaging – was brilliant. The fact that shops used the link with fish and chips to educate people about the D-Day landings helped ensure the stories and experiences told by those brave soldiers never get forgotten which, if you speak to any survivors, is all any of them ask for. 


Seeing shops embrace the day with incredible ingenuity was fantastic. Shops displayed military uniforms, put up old war posters and memorabilia, and asked younger community members to colour in 80th-anniversary posters. I saw staff donning 1940s dress, selling fish and chips at 1944 prices and honouring anyone over 80 with free fish and chips. The day brought communities together. It enabled shops to connect with their customers, hear stories of courage they were unaware of, and even meet brave heroes they never knew existed in their communities. 

I was fortunate enough to be in London at Trinity House where a three-strong team at Bennett’s Fish & Chips came up from Weymouth, providing their time free of charge, to serve a whopping 1,000 portions of fish and chips in three and a half hours. Supported by Middletons and Friars Pride, we served every cross-section of society: tourists and youngsters who had never had fish and chips before, workers who popped out on their lunch break, and the homeless for whom it was their only hot meal of the day. It was an honour to feed them and hear comments such as “I didn’t know fish and chip day was a thing” or “every day should be fish and chip day”. It was a real educational campaign and if every one of those we served goes back and has fish and chips once more each month as a result, that’s a huge win for the industry. 

10th anniversary

We all need to learn from this year’s National Fish & Chip Day and embrace it for next year when it celebrates its 10th anniversary. It’s time for the negativity to stop and to understand that you don’t have to give anything away or discount food – just put up some bunting and a poster and shout about it on socials. The day is there, so why not utilise it? And, finally, accept that it takes place on a Friday every year – which isn’t to every shop’s liking – but deal with it. So enough of the same conversations, let’s start planning for 2025!

If you would like to get involved in next year’s 10th anniversary National Fish & Chip Day, e-mail jo@risecommunications.co.uk

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