The annual Fry Awards took place recently and by God did we do well in Greater Manchester. The nation’s fish and chip restaurants, takeaways and mobiles with the highest standards in food, customer service and marketing were revealed after mystery visits to shops the length and breadth of the UK – and Greater Manchester chippies snatched up 5 of the spots.
The expert panel made their decisions by sneaking into premises unannounced and secretly scrutinising a host of aspects including the quality of the food, the cleanliness of the premises, staff knowledge, value for money, ease of ordering and social media presence.
The awards present 50 acknowledgements for takeaways, and 10 for restaurants – demonstrating our love for a cheeky takeaway. Shops could achieve 100% if they scored top marks on every section of the mystery dine, but had to achieve at least 95% or over for takeaways to win an award and 92% or over for restaurants.
This is the 11th year the awards have been held and each year the judging criteria reflects the changing nature of the business. For example, this year marks were awarded to shops that have introduced an ordering app.
Representing Greater Manchester in the top 50 fish and chip takeaways were: Chips @ No.8, Prestwich; Pennington Plaice, Leigh; Sykes Fish and Chips, Pendlebury, Swinton; Off The Hook Fish And Chips, Sale; and The Fish at Goose Green, Goose Green, Wigan.
Reece Head, competition organiser, said: “Once again we’ve had another year where it’s simply got harder to operate a fish and chip business, with rising energy, labour and ingredient costs taking a heavy toll.
“It’s not easy but operators are working harder and smarter, staying ahead of changing tastes and behaviours and adapting accordingly.
“The businesses that make up our 50 Best Fish & Chip Takeaways and 10 Best Fish & Chip Restaurants represent the best in the industry. They are pushing forwards while not losing sight of what makes the chippy so engrained in British culture – high quality, value for money food with great customer service and inviting surroundings.”
There’s no rest for the chippies, though, because entries for the 2023/24 Fry Awards open in April – so get cracking Greater Manchester lot!