We were very proud to see one of our van builds win the Best Newcomer for the 2018/2019 Dine in Awards. Hugh Innes, who is the owner of Tony’s Chipshop, Shawhead, decided to branch out into the mobile catering world and we are proud to say we were the builders of this beautiful van. Without a doubt Hugh is extremely hard working, along with always producing a top-quality product. We have seen both from a competitor and an adjudicators side on what is taken on board to give you those top marks to becoming an award-winning Fish and Chip van.
The first obvious thing is your product. You need to make sure your product is always consistent. This means regularly filtering your pans to ensure the colour is the same throughout the week, along with their being no carbon and debris build up, which results in a tainted product. Making sure your fish is a consistent size for the portion advertised, same goes for chips. Ensuring you rumble/peel your chips well each time to remove any unwanted bits of potato.
Appearance is very important. This covers the basics of Food Hygiene, making sure hair is tied back and covered, nails are clean with no nail varnish chipping off and general cleanliness is maintained. Uniforms to be worn correctly, they should be clean with name badges showing and hats and hair/beard nets where applicable. Not only is physical appearance important but also mannerisms, ensuring your customers are greeted in a warm friendly manner and greeting promptly on arrival to show acknowledgement.
Items in your establishment will make you stand out from your competitors. Being up to date with current forms of payment is a must, so having a card machine for customers to pay with will help you with those important points to becoming award winners. You also will need to display your food hygiene rating, this will need to be in an eye-catching place, so it will be noticed by the mystery shopper.
When entering any competition, make sure you get as much information as you can, so you can update your Fish and Chip van or shop to be in with a good chance of winning. This will also give you enough time to implement any training with your team and any new equipment you may need in time for being judged.
Lastly, if you are unsure what you are being marked for, then get in contact with the organiser to see if they can give you more information to help bring your establishment up to standard. With a mystery shop, you will not know who they are, when they will be there or what they will order, so make sure to treat every customer like a mystery shopper to ensure you get top marks and land yourself a place in the TOP 10!
Good Luck to everyone who has entered.