‘Challenging times’ for local chippy as prices soar

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Staff at Netherton Fisheries in their new uniform

During the pandemic, the fish and chip shop on Ledbury Road adapted to survive the challenging times by including a deliveries service – which they say has become popular among their customers. They also introduced a 10% discount offer between Monday and Wednesday and a gluten-free option is also available. 

But the family-run business says ‘things are getting difficult as prices of raw materials are rising rapidly, including fish that has doubled in price over the last four months. 

Peterobrough Matters recently reported on the strain that other businesses are facing, with cafes closing and growing costs at pubs. Now it appears restaurants are starting to feel the strain.

Father and son Carl and Marcus Smith spoke to Peterborough Matters and said: “It’s been really hard recently with the pandemic and recovery after that. Costs are soaring, especially fish, which has doubled in price in the last four months which is a bit crazy. 

“There are all sorts reasons why it might be the case - there seems to be a shortage of fish - whether it's due to Brexit or the pandemic we can’t quite figure out. Chips have gone up as well.

"We try and use cardboard which is more eco-friendly but there’s a shortage of the packaging material. 

"We can’t seem to get any of the packaging of the small fish and chips meal deal at the minute. None of the suppliers seem to have that. For the other boxes we paid £15 for a set of boxes until a few weeks ago, it's gone up to £22 now. 

"We try and use very little polystyrene  but it’s frustrating that we can’t get them. Every week when we have a delivery, the price of something has gone up but you can’t put your prices up every week can you? 

“Some of the chip shops have raised their prices. We unfortunately don’t want to do that but we can’t rule out anything. 

“We need to take everything into account  the wages, electricity and gas prices, they have gone up tremendously. In March VAT is going up so we have to account for everything. It’s not an easy time for businesses particularly for us. 

“But we are still going to be around – we will try and do everything we can. We don’t to compromise on quality- we are known for it. We buy all fresh and best quality products so we take a lot of care in that. It’s important for us. But we will try and see where we can save some money. 

“You can’t overprice things but you still have to work out your running costs and still take in some profits otherwise there's no point of the business. 

“Majority of our customers are very supportive and they appreciate and tell us they can see their supermarket bills going up, so that’s the feedback at the minute.” 

The business is celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year and hopes to ring in the milestone in time for National Fish and Chip Day in September.