Whittled down from an earlier top 10 shortlist for the Best Newcomer Award – one of 14 different award categories– the finalists competing for the title of ‘UK’s best new fish and chip shop’ are (in alphabetical order):
- Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove, Chester, Cheshire
- FishFace, Lichfield, Staffordshire
- Paignton Pier Chippy Co., Paignton, Devon
To reach this stage of the competition, finalists have been appraised across a variety of judging criteria including how owners and staff approach running a new fish and chip shop, promotional activities, and approaches to the responsible sourcing of key ingredients. They also received mystery shopping judging assessments by industry expert judges, evaluating product quality and customer service levels.
Finalists will now face further in-depth judging visits from an awards auditor, assessing both front and back-of-house operational aspects of respective businesses. This final stage of judging will determine the overall national winner who will be announced at the January awards ceremony held in London.
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, said: “The future of the fish and chip trade relies just as much on new entrants coming into the industry as it does on the sustained success of longer established shops. The calibre of entries in this category continues to get stronger every year which is very encouraging. It’s no easy feat starting a new business, especially in an industry that is relatively niche and specialised, extremely reputable and already populated with many thriving, long-established businesses.”
Andrew Marriott, UK Brand and Marketing Manager for award sponsor 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 unique approaches to running their respective businesses and are bringing new ideas to the fish and chip trade – each would be a worthy overall winner of this award category. A rewarding aspect of our involvement as a sponsor of this award category, is to see new talented businesses that 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."
The winner of the Best Newcomer Award will be announced at The National Fish & Chip Awards’ 31st anniversary ceremony in London on 24 January 2019.