The UK’s top fish and chip shops have been announced today (Wednesday 3 August) by the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
Shortlisted as part of the awards which are widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, the 62 shops will now compete for the ultimate accolade - Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award – and aim to claim the title of ‘best fish and chip shop’ in the UK.
Hailing from every part of the country*, the contenders have had to fry at the top of their game as they faced rigorous judging to secure a top spot. To reach this stage they have been appraised by industry experts across a variety of judging criteria, including menu development and innovation, sustainable sourcing policies, customer service and staff training processes, marketing and promotional flair, and how they attract new customers to fish and chips.
Over the coming weeks, shops will be subjected to further judging as they receive mystery shopping assessments. This next stage of the competition will whittle down the line up, establishing a UK top 20 that will subsequently compete to be crowned with a prestigious ‘regional’ title. Following a further judging stage, the overall national winner will be announced in January after a seven-month long judging process.
Handing over the crown in January 2017 will be current champions, Simpsons Fish & Chips in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, winners of the 2016 Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award.
James and Bonny Ritchie of Simpsons Fish & Chips commented: “Winning the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards was a life changing experience and a moment we’ll treasure forever. It meant so much to us as a family - I genuinely can’t put it into words.
“From the moment we were crowned winners we saw a dramatic increase in business across both our takeaway and restaurant. The award has given us real recognition and respect, and has opened many doors we wouldn’t even have dreamed were possible.”
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, added: “The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours a fish and chip business can receive. Many of our past winners and finalists have gone on to reap substantial benefits, including increased shop footfall and turnover and media fame through overseas industry study trips; some have even launched their own branded products.
“Receiving this award is the pinnacle of many friers’ careers, but only one can take home the title. I wish all contenders the best of luck as they move onto the next stage of judging and look forward to seeing who comes out on top.”
Culminating in an awards ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel on 26 January 2017, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. They celebrate the Great British tradition of fish and chips, showcasing the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses through 13 different award categories.
For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards or to view the full top 60 shortlist online visit www.fishandchipawards.com. Follow @FishnChipAwards on Twitter for all the awards news and information.
*Shops compete across 10 judging regions: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North East England, North West England, Midlands, Eastern England, London & South East England, Central & Southern England and South West England.