Frying To Be The Best: UK’s Top Ten Fish and Chip Shops Named For 2013
Article Date: 2012-09-25
The regional finalists will now compete against each other to win the coveted UK title of the nation’s Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year, which will be announced at a glitzy evening awards ceremony in London on 24 January 2013 at the prestigious Lancaster London hotel.
The top ten finalists are:The Bay Fish & Chips, Stonehaven – best in Scotland The Crispy Cod, Tonyrefail – best in Wales Pit-Stop Fast Food, Kilkeel – best in Northern Ireland Quayside, Whitby – best in North East England Richardson’s Fish Bar, Fleetwood – best in North West England Simpsons Fish & Chips, Cheltenham – best in the Midlands Burton Road Fish & Chips, Lincoln – best in Eastern England Henley’s of Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe – best in London & South East England The Wigmore Fish & Chips, Luton – best in Central & South England Hanbury’s, Torquay – best in South West England
The ten finalists are the result of an arduous judging process which included the shops having an unannounced visit from industry judges. Shops were assessed on a variety of judging criteria including: product quality, food preparation procedures, commitment to customer service, staff training and development, marketing and promotional activity and their approach to sustainable sourcing.
The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award recognises the quality, value and choice offered by the nation’s favourite independent fish and chip shops.
Last year’s Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year 2012 title-holder Alistair Horabin, owner of Seniors, in Lancashire believes the current fish and chip champion status is helping to grow his business with a portfolio of four shops in the Seniors chain.
Alistair said: "Seniors had been aiming for the top title for the past ten years, having been a top ten finalist in 2006 and taking third place in 2011 – we were determined to win.
"We are obsessed with quality and believe in providing excellent customer service. We put all our efforts into our campaign to win the UK title.
"As a result of our win in 2012, we have opened new shops and experienced a solid sales increase. The experience has bolstered our image in the industry. We wish the finalists well for 2013 and from experience; we can say that being a part of the awards process really does improve your business.”
In early October, as guests of the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), the ten regional winners will enjoy a three day educational trip to Norway. The finalists will learn how Norway’s fishing industry manages its sustainable fisheries in harmony with nature. During their stay the finalists will see the world’s largest growing cod stock in Norway’s cold, clear waters and learn about the journey fish take from catch to fryer.
Johan Kvalheim, UK Director of the NSC, a key sponsor of the award, said: "Everyone at the NSC would like to congratulate the ten finalists for winning their regional title and we look forward to welcoming them to Norway next week.
"We hope that the fryers will take the Norwegian sustainability story back to the UK and share it with their colleagues and customers. Ultimately the trip is designed to improve their knowledge and help them grow their business.”
Nikki Hawkins, foodservice and events manager at Seafish, said: "The UK’s fish and chip shops are a national institution and after the UK celebrating a thoroughly British year, Seafish is proud to recognise the best in the fish frying industry.
"This year, the awards will celebrate their 25th anniversary and as a result the judging process has been extra tough as the judging teams strive to find a worthy winner.
"The standard of entrants increases each year and the competition is sure to be one of the tightest. The quality displayed by the UK’s top ten fish and chip takeaways sets the industry benchmark as does their continual approach and commitment for a sustainable future.”