Written by Lesley Graves, NFFF Acting Treasurer

We know it’s coming, after all, it’s the same time every year! But, all of a sudden, it’s just around the corner! People start talking about opening hours, decorations, gift vouchers, menu – it never stops! And all of this on top of price rises, staffing, and running a business! 

I would say it’s pretty much the same in most shops, so you really are not alone. 

I start with my opening hours. I find it’s the one time of year that customers really do plan and getting opening hours sorted early can be beneficial for when customers are making their Christmas plans. They may want to include a family fish and chip meal when their guests arrive. This year Christmas lands on a Saturday, so does that mean you open Christmas eve or not? Friday is often most shops’ busiest day of the week after all. Do you normally open on Christmas Eve? Normally close? There really isn’t a right or wrong as no one knows your shop better than you. I would say, do what’s right for you, but get those opening hours up early, post on social media and let your customers know either way. Are you an NFFF member? We have created a number of opening times templates which you can download and edit to use you.

The next thing I think about is decorations. I doubt there are many who don’t like to see Christmas decorations! After the difficult times, we have all faced since March 2020, what could be more welcoming than the local chip shop full of Christmas lights, decorations, Christmas cheer, and the wonderful smell of fish and chips? 

Now is the time to think about gift vouchers. What a perfect present for someone to buy the person who has everything! Fish and chips (well nearly) in a Christmas stocking has to be the perfect gift right? You may even want to think of some offers or small discounts on what can be quieter times during January and February, print these off, and pop them in customer orders during December. 

Perhaps thinking of a Christmas special on your menu may work for you, or it may not! There are so many incredible ideas out there that you maybe could adapt if nothing springs to mind. 

Whatever you decide to do, I would say get organised now…Christmas is coming!