The top 20 independent takeaway fish and chip shops have been announced as part of the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.
The shops, from across 10 UK regions including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as London, will now compete against each other for the title of Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year.
The shortlisted shops have so far been judged on shop appearance, responsible sourcing, customer service and staff training policies. They also received mystery shopping assessments focusing on the quality of the fish and chips, and customer service provided by staff.
The 20 shops will now be judged further with more mystery evaluations and audits, before the selected 10 regional winners compete for the top spot at the 2016 awards ceremony, set to take place at the Lancaster London hotel on 20 January.
The 10 winners will be announced in October, with each invited on an all-expenses paid study trip to Ålesund, Norway, organised by award sponsor the Norwegian Seafood Council.
Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish, explained that winning the award could convey significant benefits to the shop in question, including industry trips abroad, increased turnover and the launch of their own line of products.
He said: "The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the industry to aspire to. The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours to receive as a fish and chip business. It's great to see so many excellent shops through to this stage of the competition. I'd like to offer up my congratulations and wish them the best as they prepare."
Sponsors of the award include AAK, BD Signs, Henry Colbeck, Henry Jones, Friars Pride, Heinz SqueezeMe, JFK, Kingfrost, Norwegian Seafood Council, Pukka Pies, VA Whitley and the Responsible Fishing Scheme.
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