The finalists for the Best Newcomer Award are Stargazy Fish Bar in Tetbury, Gloucestershire; Longsands Fish Kitchen in Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear; and North Beach Fish and Chips in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
The Best Newcomer Award is only open to shops that have been in operation since 1 October 2014 earliest.
Organised by Seafish, the overall awards’ other categories include Best Independent Takeaway Fish & Chips (the top award); as well as Best Multiple Fish and Chip Operator; the ‘Good Catch’ Sustainable Seafood Award; and the Marketing Innovation Award.
The winners in each category will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 26 January 2017.
To get to this stage – whittling the shortlist from 10 down to three in each category ‒ the shops have already been judged across a variety of criteria, including their approaches to promotions and sustainable sourcing. They will have also received a visit from a mystery shopper, evaluating quality and service.
The finalists in each category, including Best Newcomer, will now face further judging, including a visit from an awards auditor assessing front-and-back-of-house operations.
Marcus Coleman, chief executive at Seafish, said: “Being shortlisted as a finalist at this stage in the competition is a fantastic achievement for any newly opened fish and chip business. It demonstrates their incredible talent, dedication and commitment; traits that have to be applauded.”
“Juggling the demands of a new business is a challenging process, however they have taken everything in their stride and are going from strength to strength to become great ambassadors for the wider fish and chip industry.”