With their Selby takeaway, Abbey Fisheries, exceeding all expectations and with no room to expand, husband and wife team Jenny and Steve Knight opened a second fish and chip shop, Knights, in July in nearby Pontefract, West Yorkshire.
A former bakery that had been shut for two years, Barland Shopfitters was tasked with the job of stripping out the old fittings and transforming the building into a modern fish and chip takeaway and restaurant.
Out went the display cabinets, walk-in fridges and freezers and in went a bespoke counter, a Florigo high efficiency frying range and a prep room decked out in hygienic cladding, stainless steel shelving and a fish defrosting rack. Decor-wise, a feature wall depicting local landmark All Saints Church dominates one wall in the takeaway while fresh blue and white brick tiles and distressed driftwood style flooring span through to the restaurant.
Steve comments: “We looked around at a number of different shopfitters, some which specialised in fish and chip shops and others that did bars and restaurants and, while Barland wasn’t the cheapest, I felt they gave us a more personal experience. Rather than just asking what we wanted, they offered us ideas, like the feature wall, which is my favourite part. When customers walk down from the market, they have to stop at the zebra crossing and that is the first thing they see. It really draws people in.
“Also, I was going to have the drinks fridge behind the counter but Barland said it’s an impulse purchase, people will want to just grab one rather than ask for it. So we put it in front of the counter and pop sales are 50% up on our other shop. It’s little things like that, they have the knowledge, they have been there and done it before.”
With the end result far better than the pair could ever had ever anticipated, the chippy is exceeding all expectations with sales at 50% above what was forecast and turnover increasing between 3-5% each week. What’s more, 90% of the customer feedback is giving the shop 5/5 on quality, price and service.
Steve adds: “Pontefract is a mining town that has gone through tough times. There aren’t many shops opening up, but this has helped rejuvenate the area. People have welcomed us and we look appealing, clean, tidy and fresh.”
With regulars beginning to come back week-after-week, Steve can see an opportunity to do more with the menu and is due to add weekly batters including a beer version and a chilli infused one. The chippy is also keen to capitalise on the gluten free market, an area in which Steve is enlisting the help of Barland once again. He comments: “I feel really comfortable now in asking Barland to come in and suggest things. For example, we’ve got a little bit of space out the back so we’ve asked them to design a little prep area where we can make the gluten free batter, have space for a table top fryer and keep it all separate."
Barland Shopfitters 0800 043 5523 www.barlandshopfitters.co.uk