The recommended takeaways are Cromars Classic Fish & Chips in St Andrews, Fife, Fochabers Fish Bar in Fochabers, Moray, Low's Traditional Fish and Chips in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, Forehill Café in Ayr, Ayrshire, Palombo's of Balloch in Balloch, West Dunbartonshire and The Plaice To Be in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.
Shortlisted as part of the awards and within a wider UK shortlist, the six shops will now compete for the title of Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award – and aim to claim the title of ‘best fish and chip shop’ in the UK.
To reach this stage they have been appraised by industry experts across a variety of judging criteria, including menu development and innovation, sustainable sourcing policies, customer service and staff training processes, marketing and promotional flair, and how they attract new customers to fish and chips.
Over the coming weeks, shops will be subjected to further judging as they receive mystery shopping assessments. This next stage of the competition will whittle down the line up, establishing a UK top 20 that will subsequently compete to be crowned with a prestigious ‘regional’ title. Following a further judging stage, the overall national winner will be announced in January after a seven-month long judging process.
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, added: “The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours a fish and chip business can receive. Many of our past winners and finalists have gone on to reap substantial benefits, including increased shop footfall and turnover and media fame through overseas industry study trips; some have even launched their own branded products.
“Receiving this award is the pinnacle of many friers’ careers, but only one can take home the title. I wish all contenders the best of luck as they move onto the next stage of judging and look forward to seeing who comes out on top.”