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Zero Plus Fish Bar

Utilising ingredients from Ceres to make homemade items such as fishcakes and sauces is adding flavour to the menu and profits to the till for Zero Plus in Cardiff 

Zohaib Hussain spared no effort in renovating his takeaway, Zero Plus Fish Bar in Cardiff, earlier this year, with the intention of boosting business.

By expanding into the adjacent shop, Zero Plus now benefits from comfortable cafe-style seating for 48 customers, an addition that has had the desired effect.

“We offer sit-in now so we’re getting a lot more families coming in,” says Zohaib. “On Friday and Saturday nights, it turns into a little bit of a McDonald’s because we get loads of groups of kids coming in and hanging out. We let them bring their bikes in so the whole group can come in and they all spend about £6 to £7 on burger meals.”

It’s not just the physical changes that have helped bolster trade, but Zohaib’s ability to adapt the business to changing consumer behaviour by offering more luxury products and having the confidence to charge a higher price point.

“Our area is becoming more affluent, we’re getting more trendy coffee bars, and people are spending a little bit more money,” he says. “So we felt we wanted to offer something a little bit different in terms of the menu.”

One of the premium items that is driving sales is the shop’s homemade fishcakes. Made using Ceres Fishcake Mix and offcuts of fish, they deliver on the high price point Zohaib wants to achieve, while also being packed full of flavour and offering something unique.

“We do a chilli and lime spicy fishcake. It’s not that much of an elevated cost, we probably add about an extra 20p per portion, but we charge an extra £1. The Fishcake Mix is so high margin and easy to use.”

Its spicy mayonnaise, quickly whipped up in-house by adding Ceres Louisiana Seasoning to traditional mayonnaise, is equally popular.

“It’s probably 90% gross margin,” says Zohaib.

Using the same batter since Zohaib’s family opened the business 32 years ago, the renovations to the shop have signalled a switch to Ceres Natural Gold Batter Mix.

“Sometimes you have to take a shot in the dark and just say, right, this is what I think my customers are going to like,” says Zohaib. “And it’s worked. We’re getting more customers through the door and the feedback on the batter has been amazing. It brings out the flavour of the fish because it’s all natural ingredients.”

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