Chip Shop of The Year.
Intro: How long have you been in the business, shop history etc. Why did you want to change your old range?
My dad received planning permission to open our first fish & chips shop next door to his convenience store when I was around 13 years old. I started off in the good old spud room for a bit of pocket money on the weekends. As a few years passed and I became more involved with the business serving customers before being trained on the fryer. As my college studies came to an end, I was involved in football on a full-time basis between the ages of 17-21. After my career was cut short, I returned to my dad's shop which he had leased out to a local couple and their agreement was coming to the end of the term. I really fancied the challenge of owning my own business and being able to run the shop with full control. I rebranded the shop and opened up much to the delight of the locals. The shop served me well for 3 years and ticked over but I wanted the challenges of a new shop. I searched the market for the "dream shop" and waited patiently until a shop that caught my eye became available. It was a newly constructed unit on a new parade next door to a Tesco's express on the outskirts of Bedford. As soon as I saw the unit, I just got a great feeling about the location and as they say, the rest is history.
What Made you Choose Henry Nuttall?
We launched Shortstown Food Bar on June 15th 2015 and after 8 months of trading, we won the "Chip Shop of The Year" award for Bedfordshire. As we approach our 5-year anniversary and we have seen the business grow from strength to strength we felt the time was now right for a complete refurbishment in order to take our shop to that next level.
One of the hardest parts of the refurbishment was picking the right type of range for our shop and there were a lot of factors when deciding. We held meetings with 4 frying range companies before making the decision to go with Henry Nuttall. The main reason for our decision was that from the very first meeting we held with Henry Nuttall we felt reassured in the quality of the equipment that was on offer and confident the range would meet all of the requirements we needed. We also instantly fell in love with the look and design of the frying range and in particular, the curved glass on the food cabinet displays. This feature really stood out as it gave a unique vision of our food from a customer's perspective. The level of service & communication from Henry Nuttall has been absolutely first class!!!
What’s the biggest difference with the New Frying Range?
The range has been a joy to work with and one of the biggest differences I have seen is the consistency in the food we are cooking. The oil temperature management on each pan is very precise whereas my old range would often over-shoot and this meant frying could become tricky at times. We now spend more time interacting with customers etc as the food is cooking on timers and needs the occasional check as opposed to constantly.
I can't believe how often I had to change the oil in my old range. We had no filtration system and would get through a fair bit of frying in a typical week which meant all 3 pans would need changing at least once per week. The new range offers a triple filtration system which gives me great control on oil management which results in great savings on the amount of oil we are now using.
With the high-efficiency pans, we are now able to keep up with our peak times of service. Previously we could struggle at times waiting for the oil to reach frying temperature. Instead, we are now able to confidently promote the business and serve more customers.
I didn't think I could love my job more than I already did, however, since having our new range I feel a new sense of pride and ambition. Since having the new range installed it has allowed us to switch over the basket frying/blanching our chips. I almost regret leaving it this long to make the change as the quality in frying this way is second to none. Whether a customer comes on a Monday lunchtime or peak time on a Friday evening every portion of chips we serve out is fresh, piping hot and almost cooked to order. It has also reduced the waste in chips as they never sit in the chip box too long.