A Cardiff chippy is celebrating having beaten the Guinness World Record for the fastest chip wrapping.
Tariq Siddique, manager at Albany Fish Bar, smashed the current record holder’s time by two seconds after wrapping five portions of chips in 48 seconds.
Each portion had to weigh 350g and contain salt and vinegar before being wrapped in paper twice.
Owner Waseem Akhtar comments: “We were 50/50 as to whether Tariq was going to beat it as he had been practising in the run up and the problem was lifting the second piece of paper. Tariq kept getting stuck and in the video you can see him clawing at the paper, trying to get it. I think he lost about two seconds doing that. When we saw the time and realised he had beaten the previous record we just thought, he’s got it, excellent.”
The world record attempt was part of the shop’s 50th anniversary celebrations in which portions of chips were sold at the 1967 price of 5p — equivalent to one shilling. The takeaway also staged a 1960s front room complete with black and white television, a formica table and chairs, and fish and chips wrapped in newspaper.
Waseem comments: “We wanted to take customers on a trip down memory lane and let them see what it would have been like 50 years ago when they would have bought their fish and chips from Albany Fish Bar and taken them back to their sitting room at home.
“It was a very successful day, it was very enjoyable but it was bloody knackering. We had seven members of staff in and we opened at 11am and we had a double queue in the shop and a further queue 100m down the road which continued through to 10pm.
“We wanted to celebrate the fact that the shop has been here for 50 years but also hopefully introduce new people to it too.”
Waseem took over the business from his father in 1992. He comments: “I remember when my mum and dad bought the shop, getting in from school and having to help out in the evenings and at the weekends and hating the whole thing.
“When I took over from my father, I looked at the fish and chip industry and saw just how much competition we had from other food types. That’s when I realised we needed to up our game, improve the set up of the shop and invest in marketing and advertising to bring fish and chips into the 21st century. That got my entrepreneurial spirit going and I’ve loved it ever since.
“I’ve rebranded all the packaging, designed a shop that looks modern, we constantly run special offers and we use social media as a tool to advertise and promote the business.”
Some things never change however with 98% of the shop’s trade still cod, chips freshly prepared every day and Waseem’s mother’s secret recipe homemade curry sauce still a top seller.
Waseem adds: “We’re a traditional fish and chip shop, we’ve never ventured down the route of doing kebabs or southern fried chicken. I think you’ve got to stick to what you’re good at.
“Our success is down to constantly trying to improve the business and the quality of the food, and making sure customers get a good service in a nice set up so that they want to come back.”
Watch Tariq complete his record breaking attempt by clicking here.