Who are the National Federation of Fish Friers? (NFFF) Operating since 1913, the National Federation of Fish Friers are an independent association that works with the fish and chip shop sector. They are the only association in this market and have 1,500 UK fish and chip shops as members and represent the interests of all 10,500 […]

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Setting up a chip shop or looking to buy an existing business? In this article, we will focus just on buying into an existing fish and chip shop. Location, location, location. You have probably heard that expression before. It is the most important part to setting up a fish and chip shop.

Fish and Chip Shop Service

You have an amazing location, a fantastic brand and you are by far you are the best fryer in town. But why does that customer that used to pop in every Thursday evening not come back anymore?

There is often a very simple answer and it is a problem that is easy to fix. Customer Service!!!

Using personal experience as an example, I used to go to a local restaurant on a regular basis. Our decision to use this place – in no particular order – was down to the ambience, location, parking, quality of food, price and great service.

Over time, one key element was extracted from this mental list – customer service. That bright, friendly person who had a quick chat with us but did not overstay their welcome, left. They were replaced with an individual who was just doing a job to get paid, that did not smile and illustrated their resentment working there with the treatment we received. We voted with our feet and when meeting the manager in the street one day came out with the standard line, (I cannot remember which one) “we have not been out much recently, we have a lot on, we have been away, I am on a diet, we are saving for a holiday”.

Sounds familiar – then you probably have a customer service issue.

So how do you provide the best possible customer service in a fish and chip shop?


As the owner, you might focus on the frying and leave the front of house to a part-timer, often a young person still in education. Ask yourself before you recruit them:

  • Do they look the part?
  • Do they sound the part?
  • Do they smile?
  • Will they take pride in their job, are they the sort of person who will speak highly about your shop?
  • Can you train them in the art of customer service?


Most people employ a new person and will say “this is how you use the till, this is how many chips to put in a bag and this is how we fry the fish.” This is just not enough.

You have got to sit down with them and focus on two key areas:

  • Health and safety – fire, first aid, hygiene etc
  • The customer experience

Let’s take a quick look at health and safety from a customer experience point of view:

  • If your employee is outside in public view smoking and then comes in to serve, this will put some people off
  • The same person handling food then money is a no from a hygiene perspective
  • The uniform, apron or clothes they wear – are they clean?
  • Does the employee respect their working environment, is the chip shop counter clean and tidy?

Taking a look at fish and chip shop service

  • There has been a lot of research done into human behaviour. Mentally, we make decisions about people in a fraction of a second often just by catching the smallest of glimpses of a person. These first impressions are often hard to break. The answer – SMILE!
  • Opening comment. Train your team or shop counter employee on what to say. What will be their opening statement to a customer. Give them three options so it does not sound too repetitive. Make sure the statement is an “open” question. “Are you having a good day?” is a closed statement and will result in a yes or no answer, shutting down the communication. “How has your day been?” is an “open” question and will often result in starting a conversation.
  • Train your employee and even write a document on what to say whilst the customer is in the shop. Human nature dictates we like talking about ourselves, make sure the customer feels important by allowing them to talk about what they would like to discuss.
  • Children in the shop with parents. Parents or guardians always like talking about their kids. Ask what age they are, where they go to school, what do they like doing?
  • Know your customer. Have you even been in a pub where the landlord pours your drink even before you have asked for it? “Would you like your normal cod and chips Mr Jones” is so much better than “what would you like today?” Ask them about their family, Are they going on holiday? What have they been up to?
  • Keeping a note of your customers. This may be very difficult to do, but can you write a manual note at the end of the day on who has been in and are there any regular eating patterns? For example, write down that the old bald man that comes in every Tuesday lunchtime is called “David” he has two children that live in London and Sheffield. (Ask your front of house person to do this as well.) Soon you will build a profile of you regular clients who will like the warm friendly welcome.
  • Thank them for the business and “hope to see you soon” comment goes down well and is part of fish and chip shop service.

We hope that when you look to lease or finance equipment for your fish and chip shop, you will see first-hand how we focus on providing an excellent customer service.

For more details, please call a member of our team on 01494 611 456, or email us on hello@fishfryerfinance.co.uk.

Happy frying!

Fish and Chip Shop Equipment

When I set up in business in 1989, I bought two new expensive office desks for £1,500.00. The only reason why I bought these was because the office furniture manufacturer was the only one I knew. We had no money, and if someone explained to me you can buy a new desk for £100.00 each or there was an active second-hand market, then this would have saved us a lot of cash.

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How to start a fish & chip shop

Setting up a fish and chip shop or looking to buy an existing business, if this is on your mind, read on…

For someone who has never owned a business before, setting up a new restaurant or buying into an existing fish and chip shop can be a daunting concept. It may be that you have worked in a fish and chip shop, have seen and smelt the feeling of success and want to go it alone. Maybe, you have visited a chippy over the years and learnt that the owners are looking to retire and are thinking this is your calling. Hopefully, we can help out with some advice. Read more