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Hallmark of quality

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The Cod’s Scallops proudly serves Sarson’s malt vinegar, a choice endorsed by owner John Molnar who believes it’s synonymous with fish and chips

While many customers may opt for mayonnaise or ketchup alongside their fish and chips, there remains a strong contingent of traditionalists who prefer the classic combination of salt and vinegar.

Since the inception of the first Cod’s Scallops on Mansfield Road in Nottingham in 2011, owner John Molnar has steadfastly provided Sarson’s malt vinegar to customers. Today, it remains a hallmark of quality and brand consistency across all five locations.

“Sarson’s is a quality flavour and it’s a quality brand that customers recognise,” says John. “I remember having Sarson’s as a kid, it’s what I grew up with and it sits perfectly with fish and chips.”

With 300ml bottles placed on each table for customers to use at their convenience, John maintains a strict standard regarding their replenishment, aiming to uphold a professional image for those dining in. “I don’t like seeing a quarter bottle of vinegar on a table,” he says. “So as soon as a bottle gets down to about half way, the staff replace it with a full one.”

The remaining Sarson’s isn’t wasted. John, an advocate for sustainability, ensures it is repurposed for counter service. Here, staff decant it into a spray bottles that they use to evenly distribute the vinegar over customers’ food.

“We’ve always used a little spray bottle for our vinegar,” says John. “It’s quicker and it’s more efficient. A couple of sprays on the trigger and the food is evenly covered.”

As well as utilising Sarson’s 300ml bottles, John also has Sarson’s larger five litre bottles behind the counter ready to go for when demand is high. What’s more, there are further smaller bottles on the counter for those customers that want more. 

“Customers are creatures of habit,” says John. “Some will ask for salt and vinegar and then put extra on anyway so we have bottles of Sarson’s on the counter for those that want to put their own on on top of what we put on.”

The Cods’ Scallops even caters for customers who may be worried that they have run out of Sarson’s when they get home with their fish and chips by selling take-home bottles for £2. 

“We definitely sell more take-home bottles by having them on the counter where people can see them,” says John. 

To ensure customers enjoy their Sarson’s-soaked fish and chips, John has one golden rule for his staff. “It’s always vinegar first then salt, because then the salt sticks to the product.”

Sarson’s www.sarsons.co.uk/foodservice

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