Bertie’s is an incredibly impressive 300 seater Fish & Chip restaurant recently opened in Edinburgh City Centre. We were extremely keen to find out more about the inspiration for the Edinburgh restaurant and the journey taken in getting it open and ready for business.
We were fortunate enough to speak to Spencer, Lesley and Tony from Vittoria to get the inside scoop on their experience and vision with Berties.
The Vittoria Group chose to buy a brand new Florigo for the new restaurant. They have had a 7 Pan High-Efficiency Wall Range complete with 2 of our built-in Active Triple Filtration systems, blue LED down-lighting across the front of the range, and our unique Halo Lighting. They’re offering vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, alongside traditional Fish & Chips in beef dripping.
Can you tell us about Bertie’s and why you decided to open the new restaurant?
Lesley: Fish & Chips runs in Tony’s family and it is something that he and his family have always wanted to do for as long as he can remember.
The 11’000 sq.ft restaurant seats up to 300 guests and is the capitals ‘go to for proper fish and chips’. We are aiming to attract both International tourists and Edinburgh locals looking for fun, casual dining in the city centre. Our relaxed city centre venue will pride itself on quality authentic and sustainably sourced ingredients.
Bertie’s affordable menu will reinvent the traditional British ‘Chippy’ dishes and celebrates specialities including fish and chips – along with contemporary twists on the traditional chip shop experience. The menu also boast’s several light options, serving a selection of premium spirits, wines and gins from around Scotland, along with themed cocktails, beers and ciders.
Tony: I am excited to be bringing an authentic restaurant experience inspired by “Proper fish & Chips” to Edinburgh. Fish & chips runs in my family and It’s something that is in our blood.
What is the vision you have with Bertie’s?
Lesley: Affordable Fun, Contemporary casual dining in the Heart of the city centre. Serving “Proper Fish & Chips.
What’s been your favourite part of this new venture so far?
Spencer: I think my favourite part of this new venture is learning about the fish and chip industry, I found there is some good operators that want to make fish and chips stand out and not just overcooked fish and greasy chips. From our first day of starting out we were with people that wanted to help us out, so we could produce ‘Proper fish and chips’ and that has continued.
Lesley: Seeing our dreams become a reality, it has been a huge task as the building, formally a church has lain empty for almost 10 years after suffering a devastating fire. It has taken a huge team to make this project happen. Local design team Michael Dunn at MD Hospitality along with the main contractor Pride Commercial Interiors were appointed by The Vittoria Group to develop the new city centre restaurant.
What’s been the most challenging part so far?
Spencer: The most challenging part was this being an area that we had not operated in before due to most of our restaurants being Italian. So, everything was a learning curve, we had to go above and beyond on every aspect to make sure we got it right. The good thing was that we covered all bases and we were able to open very smoothly.
What made you choose Florigo?
Spencer: When we were first looking at choosing our range, we had 3 companies in mind as we heard they were the industry leaders in fryers. It was then a case of sitting down with each company to find out more about their fryers and how they could assist us in our journey. It soon became apparent that Florigo was able to guide us in our venture, we felt they connected to our way of working and the relationship was right. From the day of choosing the range, Robert supported and guided us through this journey with his team and they have played a big part of Bertie’s opening smoothly.
Can you tell us a bit more about you and your day to day life?
Spencer: My role is Executive group chef for the Vittoria group, and I have been with the company for just under 6 years now. My role covers writing menus, training of chefs, working with suppliers to ensure quality ingredients, mentoring, new concepts, food safety, keeping high quality food standards, kitchen design, controlling food margins – in a nutshell anything with food I am involved.
What does it mean to you to contribute to the local community?
Lesley: It means a great deal, we believe wholeheartedly in contributing to the local community and feel we have done in all our other businesses. Bertie’s Restaurant and Bar has created over 50 new jobs as they expand their restaurant portfolio in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Do you have anything extra special on the menu?
Spencer: For the menu it was all about sourcing good fish, good batter and chips, it was important to us that we got that right. Then the rest of menu was looking at dishes that gave variety, comfort, memories, caters for people with dietary requirements, and a little excitement and fun.
As an award-winning business, what advice would you give to other businesses entering awards?
Lesley: Believe that you can achieve. With a strong team behind you, you can achieve anything.
What do you see for the future of Vittoria?
Lesley: We are about to commence a refurbishment of our Vittoria on the Bridge property and we will then focus on our original Leith walk site. We are investing a great deal and are excited to unveil our plans soon. The future is bright.