Written by Andrew Crook, NFFF President

To say this has been a tough year is certainly an understatement, it is probably one of the most difficult periods the fish and chip industry has ever faced and certainly the toughest in all of our careers.  We may be lifting out of it slowly, but we cannot take anything for granted.  We must look to the positives while also watching for any potential threats, it could be a long winter with potential interruptions to business if you end up with staff showing symptoms of Covid-19.  If possible, it would be wise to work in teams so that one team can continue if the other requires testing.

We are likely to see record numbers of people being made redundant, this could mean many families struggle to find the money for treats such as meals out or takeaways.  We need to make sure we are prepared with menu options that can hit a price point, whilst not compromising our higher value offering.  We are already fairly well positioned in the market for an economic downturn so hopefully we will flourish in these conditions.  We also may find that recruiting is easier as there will be a lot of high calibre candidates looking for employment, and our sector does usually prove to be reasonably robust during times of recession. 

There has been a lot of talk about the Eat Out to Help Out scheme the government launched to support the hospitality industry.   I know it has affected trade in some takeaways but the current reduction in VAT has also helped, I know many shops have used this to put some promotions on to counteract the scheme with some success.  We have this lower rate until at least January so there is time to put it to work for your business; maybe put offers on at quieter times to boost trade.

We have just celebrated National Fish and Chip Day, a little later than usual, but it was great to see so many shops taking part. I’m sure NEODA will already be planning next year’s event and hopefully we will be in a position to really celebrate… I think we certainly deserve a party!

Now is a great time to strengthen your business with training. The NFFF have teamed up with HIT Training and are putting together some bespoke training courses for the industry…and there may even be 100% funding depending on where you are in the UK. Get in touch and see what we can offer…. just part of what you get by being a member of the NFFF!

If you need any more information about the NFFF and what we are working on then please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to support the industry and we need to know if there is anything we can do to try and help.