Updated: Jun 4, 2019
A fish and chip shop in north London is offering customers money off their chips if they bring their own container.
MyChippy.com in Enfield is rewarding customers who bring a clean, reusable bowl or container that is suitable for food with a 10% discount off their chips in a bid to tackle packaging waste.
It is hoped the initiative, called #MyChipBowl, will also address portion control by allowing customers to buy chips by weight.
Andrew Hung, owner of MyChippy.com, comments: “Like everyone we are tired of going to the supermarket and coming home with excessive amounts of packaging.
“As a retailer ourselves, we have a responsibility to do our part. We already buy sustainable fish, our potatoes are bought from local farmers, so the packaging was the next step.
“It’s very simple. On our till we have a button where people can buy by weight, so the customer comes in with their container and, as long as it’s suitable for food, it’s clean and it’s of a reusable kind, we’ll fill it with chips for them.”
The takeaway currently uses bio boxes and minimises plastic packaging where it can, but with environmental concerns becoming increasingly important Andrew is keen to do more, adding: “The bio boxes are great as they are made from sugar cane, but even with these there is an environmental footprint as they are shipped from China.
“It’s a mindset change which is required on both sides of the counter. We’ve done a lot of research on this and there are markets around London offering a discount where people are bringing clean, reusable containers. We’re really serious about this and think it could work.”
Customers coming in with their own containers will be charged 18p per ounce of chips (64p per 100g), a 10% discount off its menu price.
MyChippy.com recently removed large chips from the menu, leaving just a regular 10oz portion on the menu for £2. Andrew hopes that by giving customers a choice over portion size it will tackle food waste and attract customers back. He adds: “One of the hottest talking points at the moment is portion control. I actually know some people that are too scared to go their fish and chip shop because of the large portion sizes they’ve historically been given. They don’t know what to do with all that food!”
“By serving chips by weight, people have a choice over their portion size and they are paying for what they are ordering rather than what they are throwing away, so hopefully it will address food waste too.”
Andrew is targeting the immediate local community with the initiative and although no one has come in yet with their own bowl, he says it’s getting a lot of interest. “We’ve had a lot of comments on social media from people saying where are we and telling us that they are coming down,” he adds.
“It is a self discovery project and we’re going to be learning as we go. We don't know what the demand is going to be. It could be a great choice for families who bring a bowl, fill it with chips and go to the park, or maybe take it home for a movie night instead of having popcorn. Are we going to get groups ordering chips by the bucket load? How innovative are people going to be with the containers? And we have to bear in mind deterioration of the product too."
The chippy is also encouraging people to talk on social media and share their stories, for example how customers are covering their bowls and what types of containers they are finding work best.