Whittled down from a top 10 semi-finalist list, the five businesses are – Hanbury’s Famous Fish and Chips in Babbacombe, Devon; No 1 Cromer in Cromer, Norfolk; Papa’s Fish and Chips in Willerby, East Yorkshire; The Scallop Shell in Bath, Somerset and Trenchers Restaurant in Whitby, North Yorkshire. They will now ‘batter’ it out as they vie for the Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year Award and aim to claim the title of best fish and chip restaurant in the UK.
To get to this stage and secure a place in the coveted finalist shortlist, the restaurants have been appraised across a wide variety of judging criteria including, the responsible sourcing policies they have in place regarding the sourcing of raw ingredients, restaurant appearance, decor and facilities, staff training and development programmes, marketing and promotional activity and also how they cater for customers with specific dietary requirements. They also received mystery shopping judging assessments by industry experts to ascertain the quality of the fish and chips on offer and the levels of customer service provided by staff.
Over the coming weeks, the shortlisted restaurants will be subjected to further in-depth judging visits from an awards auditor who will assess both front and back of house operational aspects of respective businesses. This final stage of competition judging will determine the overall winner of this award category that will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held in London in January 2016.
Award sponsor David Lovell, Business Director of Goldensheaf, said: “We have a heritage of over 60 years as the UK’s leading batter mix so we can identify with the importance of being recognised as a quality performer within the industry.
“This award category rewards those businesses that provide an outstanding fish and chip dining experience for their customers while continually striving to improve the standards in their business as a whole.
“We congratulate the five restaurants in reaching the final stage of the competition and wish them good luck for the next round of judging.
Mel Groundsell, Corporate Relations Director at Seafish, said: “The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the industry to aspire to.
“With the popularity of fish and chip dining establishments on the increase, the restaurant dining experience has now come up to par with the traditional ‘chippy’ takeaway and is a potent symbol of British identity that is catering to the ‘posh nosh-talgia’ trend.
“With this being said, the importance of recognising and rewarding our country’s best fish and chip restaurants cannot be overlooked. The high level of standards and professionalism embedded within the businesses that entered this year has been outstanding, and I know the judges had a tough job determining the final five businesses.
“I’d like to offer up my congratulations to our finalists and wish them the very best as they compete to become the overall winner, but also thank them for upholding our high industry standards and helping us to reinforce the UK’s reputation as the home of the world’s best fish and chips.”
Culminating in an awards ceremony at The Lancaster London Hotel on 20 January 2016, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses.