You may remember the taste and smell of fish and chips from your childhood and want to recreate the experience for people in your area. Indeed, fish and chips are a veritable staple here in the UK, with good shops doing a roaring trade throughout the week. But is owning a fish and chips shop still a profitable business concept? When considering starting this type of business, it’s important not to let nostalgia cloud your vision.
A Winning Formula
The fish and chips market is rife with competition from burger and kebab shops, Chinese restaurants and Indian takeaways. The most successful independents lead the field because they have their own set of high standards. And so for the fish and chips shop, it’s much more complex than simply opening whenever and wherever you wish. Your shop must be cleaner, brighter and more customer-oriented than everyone else. And because you won’t be the only one on the market who is selling these products, your business plan needs to be clear about what makes you different.
Confidence and Enthusiasm
In order to be successful with your business plan and your shop, confidence and enthusiasm are key. Many consider fish and chips to be a national British dish. Not only that, but it is a comparatively low-calorie indulgence, with around just 5% fat. This is a far lower fat content than many other takeaway types. The popularity and healthfulness of fish and chips can be a deadly combination for your competitors.
Industry Standards are High
The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) has set incredibly high standards for fish products, as well as for the shops that sell them. Over 200 categories including the quality, sustainability and hygiene of shops and products is what the NFFF follows in order to ensure that all fish and chips ventures are safe.
Your Own Standards Should be High as Well
Customers want to know that the food they are eating has been prepared properly and hygienically. You can put their minds at ease by ensuring your premises is spotless at all times. You may even wish to let customers into your process by making as many preparation and cooking steps visible to them as possible.
Good Training is Vital
In the old days, a fish and chips shop may have only been open for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. But today, the demand for this delicious dish has increased. Some shops in big cities are open round the clock, which means that well and properly-trained staff will be absolutely critical to your success.
One very beneficial thing you can sign up for and then include in your business plan is a 3-day course offered by the NFFF. Although not legally required, it can be a very valuable addition to your business plan. The course covers many topics, from the risks and benefits of the business to how to portion, prepare and fry the dish to perfection. In addition, the course covers the entire range of food safety requirements and legislation. Once you’ve finished, you can obtain a free one-year membership to the NFFF, which will allow you get all the advice you need.
The health and safety demands of the fish and chips shop mean that you will need to carefully investigate any premises you plan to take over from a previous owner, and demonstrate in your business plan that you accomplished this. If there was a structural or health issue with the building, it will have a direct impact on the quality of your product as well as the kind of experience your customers have.
In addition to this consideration, you will need to think about the benefits of having your shop in a residential area over other locations like a city centre, which will bring lots of business, but during the lunch and late night hours. Of course, you will also want to conduct and include competitor research in your plan, including their hours of operation.
All told, careful research into your fish and chips shop will give investors the confidence they need to invest their money in you.