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Chip chip hooray

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It’s that time of the year again when we all hail fish and chips!

We all know it’s tough out there at the moment, but it’s time to put all that to one side and spread some positivity. Let’s stop harping on about the price of fish, energy and everything else and focus customers’ attention back on the great tasting, great value for money dish that fish and chips is. 

Pays homage

Taking place on Friday 27th May, National Fish & Chip Day pays homage to every part of the supply chain that helps bring fish and chips to the bellies of the British public, from the fishermen that catch the fish to the farmers that grow the potatoes to you guys that fry and serve the final product, so why not get involved? This year it’s really not about discounts and special offers but just joining in and encouraging customers to support their local chippy.

Gary Lewis, president of NEODA, which organises the day, comments: “It is really important this year more than ever and, let’s face it, everybody needs a feel-good day! Covid hit the industry hard but it was resilient, it adapted and it has bounced back with a bang. Unfortunately, price increases are impacting everybody and we want to give shops a well-deserved boost with this much-loved day. It’s good to have an awareness day to promote ‘brand fish and chips’ – it has always been a day to celebrate the entire sector and the valued part they play in their communities, and this year is no different.”

Check out the National Fish & Chip Day website (www.neoda.org.uk/national-fish-and-chip-day) which features a toolkit full of ideas and inspiration for the day as well as free downloadable posters. You can also order branded t-shirts and caps plus balloons and bunting, which can be used again year after year.  

A few top tips

•  Rather than discount fish and chips, put on a special family meal deal to encourage the whole family to order. 

•  Not all shops will want to do a special offer on what is their busiest day of the week, so why not run a competition instead? It’s a great way to drive engagement. A simple guess the number of marrowfat peas or pickled eggs in the jar is really easy to do and you can run it in-store and online. The prize can be a voucher for your shop or fish and chips for two.

•  Create some goodwill by giving a little extra, whether it’s a free side, a little bag of Haribo sweets or a lollypop for the kids. Or why not allow customers to upgrade from regular to large chips for a small extra charge, it’s a great way to give more without it eating too much into your profits. 

•  Promote your lunchtime trade – target OAPs or couples working from home – to drive some of that traffic during the day. This will leave your evening slots, which command full price, free. 

•  Get as many of your staff in as possible on the day so that it feels like a real team effort. Remember, it’s the experience you are selling and not just your food. 

•  Decorate your shop, put up the bunting the week before and start communicating to customers early. This will get them thinking about ordering fish and chips even before the day, which will help get your pre-orders in too.

• Have some music playing. Last year, DJ’s Fish and Chips in Paignton, Devon, had Elvis singing and even serving the odd customer!

• Have a collection bucket on the counter and support a local charity.

“This year is going to be very difficult to do any offers/discounts due to prices of raw materials and utilities going up. However, we will be celebrating and promoting the day by decorating the shop with bunting – this year we bought new reusable bunting – and will also be wearing our National Fish & Chip Day t-shirts and hats.”

Dominic Wayne Eusden, Fiddler’s Elbow, Leintwardine, Herefordshire

“We’ll be creating some fun around the day with the teams and reminding our customers to support local. We’re still fine-tuning the details but we are looking to run a social media competition to win a competition to Iceland. We’ve got some sponsorship from the Icelandic government to cover the trip. And the final spoke is seeing if we can do something to support the fundraising efforts for Ukraine.”

Paul Goodgame, The Chesterford Group

“We’re going to run a competition on social media to win a portion of cod, chips and mushy peas for two by liking our Instagram or Facebook page, commenting and sharing. We always make the runner where the branded National Fish & Chip Day hat when they take the click and collect orders out to customers’ cars!”

Bex Brewer, Port & Starboard, Indian Queens, Cornwall 

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