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Diversifying into outdoor catering

Move your business forward with mobile van insurance from Wrapped

Going mobile with your fish and chips is nothing new and there are many mobile vans catering for customers in villages and rural areas who don’t have the convenience of a shop nearby. Fish and chips have been growing ever more popular as a catering alternative for special events, though, and, for entrepreneurial fish and chip shop owners, this may be a welcome diversification opportunity.

With the UK’s annual spend in fish and chip shops reported as a massive £1.2bn and with around 382 million portions of fish and chips being consumed by Brits every year, fish and chips remain a Great British staple.

There are also many challenges facing the industry. Rising fish prices as a result of a dwindling Atlantic supply as well as the poor exchange rate, the hot and dry climate affecting potato harvests, and competition from online delivery companies as well as fast food alternatives, are all taking their toll.

As a fish and chip shop or restaurant owner, you may be looking to combat the effects of these challenges through diversification. There are a number of ways of diversifying in the fish and chip shop arena, including adding other choices to your menus, offering gluten or other allergen-free alternatives, pitching your shop as a sustainable supplier, or signing up to supply to online delivery companies as well.

These options may not be to every fish and chip shop owner’s taste and capitalising on the trend to choose our Great British dish as a special event or festival dining option could be more interesting.

Getting started

Before you invest, though, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve researched the market, including demand, competition and commercial viability. You’ll also need to research and select the equipment needed to go mobile.

Your vehicle

The type of vehicle you use will depend on your personal preferences. Options include a catering trailer that you can tow with your existing vehicle and drop off at events, or a van that you can drive from function to function without the need of a tow bar. Vans can seem a more cost effective option, but they may also need a lot of work to convert, adding to the overall price.

Your equipment

The equipment you need for your mobile fish and chip shop will depend on the space you have available. Whether you’ve chosen a van or a trailer, space will be at a premium, so smaller frying equipment will be needed to avoid a cramped, inefficient kitchen. You’ll also need to take into account the number of customers you may be catering for. Long queues will likely lead to lost custom and a poor reputation. Remember to think about your power supply, too.


If you’re diversifying into mobile catering, you’ll also need to add extra covers to your business insurance, including motor insurance for your van or additional cover for your trailer and event insurance. You’ll also need to review your public and products liability to ensure it’s adequate for your extended business.

For more information about Wrapped or for your personal quotation, talk to Ryan’s today on 0800 093 3018, e-mail or visit

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