Trenchers of Whitby – UK’s Best Fish & Chip Restaurant 2019!

And the winners are… Trenchers of Whitby!

Our amazing customers at Trenchers have worked extremely hard to win the Best Fish & Chip Restaurant,  so what a fantastic way to start the year. We had a chat with General Manager, Andrew Wilkinson about how winning the award has felt, the awards process and some advice for those considering entering the 2020 awards.

Trenchers have a 4 pan High-Efficiency wall range, with Florigos Unique Active Triple Filtration and a glass inlay.

Trenchers make for an interesting read with their hugely respectable name and inspiring experience in the Fish & Chip industry.

Trenchers of Whitby

Firstly, a huge congratulations, this is a truly well-deserved win for you all and can imagine you’re over the moon. So, how did you celebrate?

Thank you very much, we’ve been hoping this moment would happen for a long time so it’s a mixture of elation and relief. We were in London for the awards, of course, so we went out and about there and took in the sights, then had a lovely meal at Nipa Thai, a restaurant inside the Royal Lancaster where the awards are held. We had a huge banquet which was amazing, a total feast. Everyone was on a real high from winning! When we got back to Whitby we held a big party for the whole team, we have 70 people working here so we wanted to reward everyone and celebrate all together.

What did winning the award mean to you all?

It means everything really, our whole team works incredibly hard and many of us have been here for years, myself for 16 and others for decades. To see the hard work pay off is amazing and it makes everything feel even more worthwhile. We know that our customers love Trenchers and that’s the most important thing but to be recognised by our industry is really remarkable.

How did you find the judging process throughout the awards?

We’ve been involved in the awards for a few years now so we could anticipate what the process would be like.

The application and judging process is rigorous but we honestly don’t do anything differently during it than we would usually, so the level of work and dedication remains the same. Something our team are very aware of is that the customer is the real judge everyday so standards can never slip.

The nerve-wracking part comes once you’ve submitted the application and wait to see if you’ve been shortlisted, then the day of the awards themselves can be agonising, it’s just such a huge thing for everyone involved and you know how good your peers are so it’s anyone’s game.

What do you feel you did differently this year which led to a win?

I can’t say we did anything massively different this year, it just seemed like this was our time and everything fell into place. We have a really strong team at the moment and that is certainly important, also our ingredients are only ever improving as well as our customer service standards, we have only gotten better over the years and that’s something we’ll continue to work on.

What advice would you give to those thinking of entering the awards?

Just do it!

Make sure that when you’re completing your initial entry forms that you really think about what the question is asking and not just what you want it to say. After that, make sure you get opinions from the whole team and have everyone thinking about the questions. So much happens in different sections of the business and you possibly forget stuff that could be really interesting or important that should be in your application. Also, make sure to add as much evidence as possible and ensure that you present it really effectively, it’s a big job so leave yourself enough time and don’t leave it until the last minute.

Once the judging is underway, just keep your cool and make sure that your team are at the top of their game every day.

Also, I would say don’t give up and don’t lose your confidence or drive. It can of course be difficult if you don’t win but it’s important to remember that you know how great what you offer is and keep the faith that your day will come as long as you keep standards high and work hard.

Finally, I think just see the awards as a learning process, there are tough lessons and great discoveries but all of it leads to your business being the absolute best it can be. We will be continuing to learn going forward and wont stop seeking feedback and ways we can improve, I think that’s the key.

What was the most challenging part of the awards process for you?

I would have to say the awards themselves! Everything else we are so confident in, Fish & Chips are in our blood and it’s our day to day job, so the applications and judging processes are hard work but fine.

It’s just the day and the ceremony itself, it’s a brilliant day and we thoroughly enjoy the event but waiting for your category to come around and then hoping to hear your name, that is very nerve-wracking.

What made you choose a Florigo?

I think that’s really simple, they’re just the best.

For us, the build quality is second to none and the reputation of the brand proceeds it. We are very serious about fish frying and the fish fryers themselves, what they do is a proper learnt skill so they need to best equipment, they love using Florigo range for their functionality and the quality of food they produce. Also, the triple filtration is extremely important to us, they basically just ensure the final product is as good as it can possibly be.

You’ll have a busy year ahead, there is no doubt about that, so what do you hope to see for the future of Trenchers of Whitby?

We are making the most of the amazing response we’ve had from winning the award for the UK’s Best Independent Fish & Chip Restaurant that’s for sure.

So far, we’ve been really busy with press relations and a huge reaction on social media that we are completely amazed by, also there has been an increased footfall in the restaurant which is brilliant. We’re fortunate that we often have queues, particularly in the tourist season so we know how to deal with them and keep service efficient but that doesn’t mean we won’t be firing on all cylinders with staff at the top of their game come summer.

In the next 12 months we will continue with more of the same to be honest! We have some exciting events planned and will be working with local causes to support them as well as the Fisherman’s Mission and RNLI, our chosen charities. We’ll be continuing with our dedication towards MSC, sustainability, being environmentally conscious and all that comes with taking care of the world we live in. We will also be ensuring that we carry on with training and development of our existing team and new members.

We want to make sure we spend the year saying thank you to everyone who has and continues to support us. Overall, we’re just really looking forward to what we hope will be an amazing summer here in Whitby, we are going to enjoy every moment of being the Best Fish & Chip Restaurant in the UK, roll on 2019!

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Maddi Powell

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