Situated on the picturesque harbourside in Weymouth, Dorset, Bennett’s Fish & Chips has a busy tourist trade in the summer, but it has also built up a loyal local trade, which keeps it ticking over nicely in the winter too.
With the shop experiencing its busiest summer on record last year and its 13 year old, 3 pan Henry Nuttall
range beginning to show signs of struggling to keep up with demand, owner Mark Bennett decided the time was right to upgrade to a new, high efficiency model. Staying with a name both he and his father had come to know and trust, Mark went for a four pan, high efficiency Henry Nuttall counter range, which he’s packed with a host of additional features to help with the smooth running of the shop. These include two oversized pans, giving a capacity closer to a five pan range, built in-filtration, a larger extraction fan, four heated cabinets with bevelled glass – one of which features a removable stainless steel panel so it can be used to store utensils during quiet periods without them being on display to customers – an integrated drinks cabinet and a larger counter that can accommodate a third member of staff.
One of Mark’s favourite features, however, is a heated blown air chip box, which continually blows out heat, eliminating the need for a lid on the chip box. “It’s not a dry heat,” explains Mark. “It’s just warm so the chips can last 20-30 minutes easily in the hot box and I’m not forever opening and closing a lid. The air also blows any excess oil off the chips too. It was a feature I was aware of but I thought it was just a gimmick, but it’s really good and I would not be without one now.”
With the new range comes a new way of working as Mark’s embraced basket frying and he now firmly believes it produces the very best quality chips regardless of who is frying. “It’s always been important to me to have consistency of quality of food,” Mark comments. “Before, I was relying on the experience of the friers, whereas now I can put anyone on that range and I know they are able to produce the same product as myself.”
Already seeing the benefits of working on a high efficiency range, Mark is looking forward to a busy summer, commenting: “The recovery time is fantastic and that’s going to have a huge benefit in the summer because within half an hour of opening we have a full restaurant and a queue already forming at the takeaway. With the old range, the temperature would drop and it would be three to four minutes before it would come back up. Now it’s almost instant and you can start cooking straight away.”
While Mark’s yet to receive a gas bill to see the financial benefit of his new range, he’s confident that the craftsmanship will help keep repair costs down, adding: “No matter what anyone tells me, I know pans do go, especially if you’re working them hard. Something that frightened me with the Dutch ranges was that if that were to happen, it can be a £5,000 job to have one repaired as they are welded in. With a Henry Nuttall range, the pans are easily removed and replaced so there was peace of mind there that if a pan did go wrong, the cost to repair it would be a lot less.”
With the range installed in early January, Bennett’s was able to open swiftly after the Christmas holidays with no major disruption to trade. Mark adds: “Henry Nuttall was the only manufacturer able to install the range in sections inside the shop, which was another benefit to me as I didn’t need to cut door frames and such to get the range in. I honestly can’t speak highly enough of the range and the service I received from Henry Nuttall.”
Henry Nuttall 01909 560808 www.henrynuttall.co.uk