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Weymouth chippy wins gold at county tourism awards

Fish ’n’ Fritz in Weymouth has been recognised as one of the top food and drink businesses in the county, having won a Gold Award at the virtual Dorset Tourism Awards.

On Thursday 4th February over a Zoom with all the other finalists in the Casual Dining category, Fish ’n’ Fritz were declared the winners.

The fish and chip shop, which was opened by Paul Hay in 1997, will now go on to compete with the best businesses across the entire region at the South West Excellence Awards.

Fish n Fritz was judged on a host of criteria including how it interacts with customers, its social media presence and how it has reacted to the current pandemic. The latter has seen the chippy enclose the range with a steel and Perspex frame, install a one way system through the takeaway and put in social distancing markers.

Owner Paul Hay comments: “It’s been a really challenging year but also a really positive year. We had a very quiet start to the year because we closed the business completely, but as the government eased restrictions we opened the takeaway side of things.

“In the summer we opened the restaurant to a much more limited capacity, we had just four tables in the restaurant and that was it. But we had the most amazing summer. Nobody was going away and everybody was coming to the coast. Weymouth has never been so busy, it was phenomenal. There were lots of people around, everyone was well-behaved and adhering to social distancing, we had queues round the block but everyone stood in their little space. And we had great support from the local community which has really pulled together. To win this award in amongst such a crazy year really is fantastic.

“We are elated to be a Gold Winner in the Dorset Tourism Awards."

Caz Richards, from awards sponsor Dorset Food and Drink adds: “It’s been an unprecedented year, which has thrown up many challenges for the food, drink and hospitality industry. But we’ve also seen how the industry has risen to meet these challenges and developed new and innovative ways of working to tackle the pandemic. Methods which are so effective, they are being built into working life going forward. The crisis isn’t over yet, but we ease into 2021 with a little more optimism that there could be a return to some semblance of normality in the coming months.

“Dorset Food and Drink were delighted to sponsor the Casual Dining Award and we’d like to offer huge congratulations to the team at Fish & Fritz for making it to first ‘plaice’!”

The annual awards usually take place at a black tie event, however, with the country still in the grip of the Covid, the event moved online this year.

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