Competing to be crowned Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year, Cromars in St Andrews and Moore's Fish & Chips in Castle Douglas will now ‘fry’ for glory against each other in the race to become Scotland’s best fish and chip shop.
To get to this stage and secure a place in the coveted shortlist, shops have been appraised across a variety of judging criteria including shop appearance, responsible sourcing policies, customer service and staff training policies. They also received mystery shopping assessments by industry experts to ascertain the quality of the fish and chips and the levels of customer service provided by staff.
Over the coming weeks, the shops will be subjected to further mystery judging evaluations and in-depth judging audits. This next stage of the competition will determine the regional winner for Scotland who will then complete against nine other regional winners for the top accolade at the 2016 awards ceremony.
Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish, said: “The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the industry to aspire to.
“The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours to receive as a fish and chip business. Many of our past winners and finalists have gone on to reap substantial benefits, including international fame through industry trips overseas, increased shop footfall and turnover and even launching their own products.
“It’s great to see so many excellent shops through to this stage of the competition. I’d like to offer up my congratulations and wish them the best as they prepare to continue their quest towards winning a regional title, but also thank them for consistently helping us to reinforce the UK’s reputation as the home of the world’s best fish and chips.”
Culminating in an awards ceremony at The Lancaster London Hotel on 20 January 2016, 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.
In October, Seafish will announce the top 10 regional winners competing for the flagship award. These shops will then be invited on an all-expense paid study trip to Ålesund, Norway, organised by award sponsor the Norwegian Seafood Council, to witness first-hand why the country is regarded as one of the world’s most sustainable fishing nations.
Joint award sponsor Mick Bacon, Manager of the Responsible Fishing Scheme, said: “The Responsible Fishing Scheme aims to raise the standards of the fishing industry and encourages the supply chain to demonstrate their commitment towards the responsible sourcing of seafood. We have recently revised the scheme with an added focus on crew welfare and health and safety on board, so buyers can be assured that seafood from an RFS certified vessel has been ethically harvested too.
“Fish and chips shops are great ambassadors for the seafood industry with many showing passion for sustainability, provenance and social responsibility. We are honoured to support The National Fish & Chip Awards and help reinforce the awards’ commitment to responsible sourcing. Congratulations to the finalists, we wish all of the top 20 shops the very best of luck.”
• For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards please visit www.fishandchipawards.com. Follow @FishnChipAwards on Twitter for all the awards news and information.