As the 2019 awards are just around the corner, it’s great to catch up with previous winners, this week we caught up with The Pelican. It’s great to remind ourselves what the awards do for business and the Fish & Chip industry.
Winning one award – the Best Restaurant – was already unexpected and overwhelming and we were still flying high from that so hearing our name for a second time was surreal! Obviously, we’d worked hard for the restaurant award but in the face of such strong competition, we were delighted to even be in the running! So when it came to the Seafood Week competition we had just been having such fun! It’s a great way to involve and challenge staff and customers with a fishy culinary adventure introducing new species promoting MSC sustainable fishing and reaffirming the many health benefits of eating from our oceans.
We’ve had a significant increase in trade since winning the awards which keeps us on our toes! With lots of new customers and a justifiably happy workforce, we’ve been able to use our new endorsement to continue to inspire our customers with our enthusiasm for good food locally grown, sustainably caught and with attempts at achieving plastic-free status. So having set ourselves on this path we have plenty on our plate now and plenty to do in the future!
As for advice to people entering the awards, I’d have to say that whilst enthusiasm, innovation, customer service, and great fish and chips are the key, arguably our best investment was achieving and maintaining the level of quality consistent with those of MSC and NFFF. And even if you don’t think you’re going to win, be ready for the increased activity and upturn in trade if you do! Nothing worse than to be caught tootling along when you’ve suddenly got an unexpected queue out of the door.
For the past 10 years, we’d been happy with a Florigo range at our other shop so when we refuted the Pelican it was a natural choice to make. Still, it was quite a change to go from a (dear old) 4 pan Preston Thomas range to a 9 pan Florigo one! Our fryers find it good to work with and it consistently steps up to the mark with the busiest of times.