How to Start a Fish & Chips Business

by Ian Linton; Updated September 26, 2017
Fish and chips (cod) in box with peas, tartar sauce

The fish-and-chips business has traditionally been a British venture, but it has grown in popularity in the U.S. with the establishment of national chains such as Long John Silver’s and Arthur Treachers and individual shops such as A Salt & Battery and English Harbour Fish & Chips in New York. Whether for a dine-in restaurant or a fast-food outlet, you need simple equipment, a good location and quality supplies to start the business.

Choose the Type of Business

You can offer customers fish and chips in two ways: dine in or takeout. If you operate as a dine-in restaurant, you must find a venue that provides space for cooking, storage and seating. To set up a takeout business, you only need an area for cooking and storage, and a counter to serve customers.

Find the Right Location

Location is critical to success. If you open a dine-in restaurant, look for a downtown location that is convenient for diners and close to other leisure facilities. A waterfront or coastal location is also suitable, as customers associate seafood dishes with the area. For a takeout business, a neighborhood location is ideal. Local customers can collect their meals to take home or eat outdoors. Locating close to a sports stadium or leisure complex can help you attract customers looking for a quick meal after a game or movie.

Find Quality Suppliers

Quality suppliers are essential to the success of your business. Contact suppliers who can provide fresh or frozen fish. Choose quality potatoes cut into thick chips, rather than thin fries, to provide customers with the authentic chip-shop texture and flavor.

Equip the Business

Equipping a fish-and-chip business is a low-cost investment and you can buy used equipment to start your operations. You will need a refrigerator or freezer to store fish and a range with deep separate compartments for frying the fish and chips. Chippers are available to cut your chips to the correct size.

About the Author

Based in the United Kingdom, Ian Linton has been a professional writer since 1990. His articles on marketing, technology and distance running have appeared in magazines such as “Marketing” and “Runner's World.” Linton has also authored more than 20 published books and is a copywriter for global companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and economics from Bristol University.

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