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Fish Friers

Quality sells & there’s no exception when it comes to Fish and Chips

Article Date: 2016-07-29

Written by Darren Boothrody, Fochabers Fish Bar

Having worked in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft engineer for over 22 years I knew all about quality and the importance of delivering a quality product. 3 years ago saw me embark on a new career and purchase The Fochabers Fish Bar and I knew that the same quality systems would be transferable and I began adopting the same ethos into my business. Being new to the industry I set about learning as much as I could as quickly as I could and found myself reading through large quantities of trade magazines and related articles online and the one thing that struck me was that a large number of shops that are successfully operating at the highest level had gained the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) Quality Award (QA).


After a quick phone call to a very pleasant lady at the NFFF I soon found myself reading through the award criteria and realising that this was exactly what I was looking for, an award that had quality at its heart and is run and assessed by industry experts. The QA standards and application guide is very comprehensive but a little daunting to get your head round at first, however after reading through it a couple of times I realised that we only needed to put a few things in place to be operating at the required level.

On the day of the assessment, I must admit I was a little bit apprehensive of having someone who was already proven in our field coming and inspecting my business but I was soon put at ease with the professional attitude of the assessor and the process was over in a few hours.  

In less than a week we were notified that we had met the award standard and we set about publicising and promoting via local newspapers, social media, website, posters, uniforms and banners and in turn witnessed an immediate increase in sales, resulting in a 40% growth in turnover since gaining the award just over 12 months ago.

Having the award has given both myself and my staff the assurance that we are operating at the highest level and has acted as a springboard to enable us to go forward and attain further awards and accolades. Since gaining the award I have become an QA assessor and trainer with the NFFF and our shop has been voted in the top 50 shops in the UK 2015/16 (Fry Magazine), top 60 shops in the UK 2016 (National Fish and Chip Awards), Quality Award Champion Finalist 2016 (National Fish and Chip Awards), Modern Apprenticeship Micro Employer of the Year 2015/16 (Skills Development Scotland) and Investors in Young People Accreditation (Investors in People). Going on and winning these awards would not have been possible without having initially gained the QA.


What are the benefits of the Quality Award and what can it do for your business?

Gives you and your staff the confidence that you operating at the highest level. Gives your customers the confidence that they are purchasing their food from an establishment that has met high standards in food management, food preparation, food quality and customer service. Dedicated NFFF media assistance with your press release, maximising publicity. Use of the QA roundel. Free entry in the QA guide to award holding fish and chip shops. Premium listing in the NFFF’s smart phone app iFish4Chips. Gives you an edge over competitors who do not have the award. Potential for a large increase in sales.

The QA is a fantastic scheme that is designed to reward shops that have excellent operational practices and food quality. It’s a bit like taking your business for an MOT, it gives you the confidence that everything is running as it should be.

With approximately 10,500 fish and chip shops in the UK of which only 250 shops currently hold the QA, now is the perfect opportunity to join the growing number of professionals who are striving to raise their profile, the industries profile and of course maximise sales.

Fish Friers