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Fish and chips from shipping containers

A brand new fish and chips concept working out of a shipping container is to get its launch next month at the St Patrick's Day Festival in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Fryday will open its hatch to 150,000 people over the three-day celebration, serving traditional Irish fish - fresh smoked haddock in a secret recipe batter - and chips.

The concept is the first of 30 planned by Irishman Andrew Daly to be opened by the end of 2020, with the first three locations already agreed for Harrogate, York and Leeds in April.

Andrew, who moved to the UK from Dublin five years ago, comments: “About 75% of the fish in Irish fish and chip shops is cold smoked, so it’s part of our heritage and tradition. I moved over from Ireland five years ago and was a little bit frustrated that I couldn’t have smoked fish and chips, so I want to bring some innovation to the industry and try and create a nationwide brand under Friday. I think using the old shipping containers offers something that is innovative and sustainable.

“I want the country to try our fish and chips and like it as much as we do in Ireland.”

The 20ft shipping container has been converted by Peterborough-based catering vehicle builder Pro Fry to include a five pan, two chip box Regal frying range capable of serving up to 500 portions of fish and chips an hour.

Choosing a shipping container over a van or a trailer, Andrew has created a concept that he believes combines high street retail and a mobile van in a static site. He adds: “I wanted something that was permanently cited but I didn’t want to go down high street retail as it’s tough right now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The beauty of this model is that we can pick the containers up as and when and move them. It’s all about innovation and bringing something new to the market.”

Commenting on frying in a converted container, Andrew says: “It’s fantastic to fry in, the equipment is superb and, for a shipping container, it's as good as any kitchen.”

"It’s fantastic to fry in, the equipment is superb and, for a shipping container, it's as good as any kitchen."

Andrew plans to introduce an app to support the launch which will enable customers to order ahead and collect from the container at a time that suits them.

Paul Newbold, Pro Fry MD, has been overseeing the build and comments: “This is one of the most exciting projects I’ve been involved with and it’s certainly our biggest. But it’s what we do and it doesn’t matter if it’s a van, a container or a trailer.”

Seeing the potential for the Fryday brand, Paul adds: “There are too many people that have bought the industry down, buying cheap products and serving big volumes. The Fryday concept is a way of bringing the industry to a point where we can all earn money again and serve an amazing product. We wish Andrew all the best of luck in his venture.”

With the second container already in production, Andrew plans to take the Fryday brand international, adding: “There are an estimated 80 million people in the world who claim they are Irish and there's no reason why they won’t eat Irish fish and chips. I’ve been quite lucky to build a couple of businesses in America and two things the Americans always want to talk about is British fish and chips and Ireland, so I’ve basically amalgamated the two.”

Fryday will be frying in London's Trafalgar Square from Friday 15th March to Sunday 17th from 11am until 6pm.

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