Chippies the length and breadth of the UK are celebrating after reporting record sales over the Easter weekend.
Good Friday, traditionally a busy day for shops, certainly lived up to its reputation with trade up by a reported 40% on average.
The appetite for fish and chips was no more apparent than at The Bay in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, where trade was up a staggering 75%.
Customers were queuing from the moment the award-winning takeaway opened with orders continuing all weekend for its MSC Scottish haddock and chips.
Owner Calum Richardson comments: “Everyone wants fish and chips over the Easter weekend; it’s a great British tradition come sun or snow. We had our best weekend ever, shifting 70 stone of fish and 100 bags of potatoes.”
Interestingly Monday saw the biggest increase in trade at The Bay with takings three times higher than average. Calum adds: “Our staff are always on the ball and are used to busy times, so worked well to make sure everything ran very smoothly.”
It was a similar picture at Burton Road Chippy in Lincoln where the restaurant was fully booked and record sales of haddock and chips were reported.
Owner Lesley Burton said: “Good Friday was incredible. We were open from 11.30am- 9.30pm and I'm happy to report it was by far the busiest day we have ever had. There wasn't a slack period during the whole day, and the whole team worked extremely hard. Thank goodness we had extra staff in.”
With a change in fortunes for the weather, chippies located in and around coastal resorts were among the biggest winners with this boost to business trickling over into the bank holiday weekend.
Staff at Chez Fred in Westbourne, Dorset, were inundated with orders for fish and chips from lunch time on Friday until end of play Monday.
Owner Fred Capel comments: “We didn’t just break a record, we smashed it with our busiest lunch time ever on Good Friday and a mega bank holiday Monday too. After 24 years of trading, you don’t expect to still be breaking records. But everything came together for us – including the weather.”
It seemed recent events surrounding horsemeat may have worked in the industry’s favour too, with Fred adding: “I think all the negative publicity around horsemeat has made fish very much flavour of the month. It is beginning to register with people that good old fish and chips can’t be messed around with and is something to be proud of.”
With many schools closed over the coming two weeks for the Easter holidays, chippies are hoping the bank holiday boom will continue.