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Expert Eye: Geoff Whitehead, Whiteheads Fish & Chips, Hornsea, Yorkshire

Home » Interviews » Expert Eye: Geoff Whitehead, Whiteheads Fish & Chips, Hornsea, Yorkshire
Whiteheads Fish & Chips

Solar panels, wind turbines, a frying range and ice cream have all been on Geoff’s shopping list as he focuses on moving his award-winning business further forward

Easter was mental for us. We are in between Scarborough and Hull on a council estate, about seven to eight minutes from the seafront, so consequently we are in a tourist area. 

From March to October, our turnover goes from £8,500 to £40,000 overnight with all the caravaners coming back. With the National Fish & Chip Award win at the same time, trade hasn’t just exploded it’s been a hurricane, it was the perfect storm. But I cannot emphasise this enough, my staff have been absolutely amazing. They have taken it in their stride and have worked exceptionally hard. They’ve just got on with it. 

I’ve recently had some additional solar panels fitted to the roof of the building. I already had 28 and I’ve just had another 20 fitted which is giving me about 10 kilowatts of power and saving me about £30-£40 a day in electricity. 

I’ve always been into sustainability and the environment, I’ve always been forward-thinking and, because I still want to innovate, I’m now looking at getting five wind turbines added. They should generate enough power to run my restaurant, meaning I’ll have no bills in that respect.

Whitehead's Solar Panels

It’s something my father and I looked into about 15 years ago, but it was virtually unheard of then. Now you can get these Tulip wind turbines, which are made in the USA and Holland and look like tulips so are aesthetically pleasing. Unlike normal wind turbines, which I couldn’t have because they need an uninterrupted wind flow, these catch the wind from any direction. The only dilemma we have now is finding the right people to supply them

Recently I visited the Wetherby Whaler to see Caroline Murphy. She’s had a full refit and I went to have a look at her frying range. My range is coming up for eight years old and it’s time to replace it so I’m now going out and about, having a look at which one I’m going to get in January. Today’s new ranges are between 92% and 94% efficient, which is going to save me quite a lot on gas as well as oil.

I’ve also just had a meeting with a new ice cream supplier because what I’ve been selling up until now has been quite a cheap product. I always talk about quality, buying the best fish, potatoes, oil etc., but I haven’t applied that to my ice cream. Now I’m practising what I preach and getting a top quality ice cream and some nice glassware because to have longevity in business you have to serve quality. I want my customers to have a better product which, in turn, gives them a better experience.

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