The UK’s top three fledging fish and chip shops have been announced by the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
Whittled down from an earlier top 10 shortlist, the three finalists – Stargazy Fish Bar in Tetbury, Gloucestershire; Longsands Fish Kitchen in Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear; and North Beach Fish and Chips in Bridlington, East Yorkshire – will now ‘fry’ for glory in the race to bag the prestigious Best Newcomer Award in the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry.
To get to this stage and secure a place in the coveted final shortlist, businesses have been appraised across a variety of judging criteria including innovative approaches to running a new fish and chip shop, promotional activities, and approaches to sustainable and responsible sourcing. They also received mystery shopping assessments by industry experts, evaluating both product quality and customer service levels.
Over the coming weeks the finalist shops will face further in-depth judging visits from an awards auditor, assessing both front and back-of-house operational aspects of the 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 held in London in January 2017.
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, said:
“Being shortlisted as a finalist at this stage in the competition is a fantastic achievement for any newly opened fish and chip business. It demonstrates their incredible talent, dedication and commitment; traits that have to be applauded.”
“Juggling the demands of a new business is a challenging process, however they have taken everything in their stride and are going from strength to strength to become great ambassadors for the wider fish and chip industry.”
Sponsored by Frymax, the Best Newcomer Award is open to independent fish and chip businesses that have been operating since no earlier than 1 October 2014 and recognises those that are excelling in upholding the high standards of the fish and chip trade.
Andrew Marriott, Brand and Marketing Manager for Frymax, the leading all-vegetable frying fat for the fish and chip trade, added:
“The future of our trade relies on top quality, and highly motivated, fish and chip businesses. This year’s three finalists all feature innovative concepts and are bringing new ideas to the fish and chip trade – each would be a worthy winner.”
“The most enjoyable aspect of our involvement is to see new talented individuals who are passionately driven to produce great tasting fish and chips for their customers. We wish all three finalists the best of luck in the next round of judging and hope they will enjoy many years of success in our trade.”
Culminating in an awards ceremony in London 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. 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 through 13 different award categories.