The first lockdown in England brought with it a sudden change in the way we work, live and socialise on a day to day basis.

It also had an immediate impact on how businesses interact with consumers, with the fish and chip industry as no exception.

Since March 2020, many fish and chip shops across the UK have adapted to the new regulations and embraced changes, introducing new technology systems and methods of connecting with customers from afar.

Getting a taste for new experiences

Following the lockdowns and instructions to stay at home, 1 in 8 adults have ordered a delivery from a takeaway for the first time, with 72% of these saying they’ll continue this behaviour in the future.

However it’s not just consumer habits that have changed, but values too. From supporting local businesses to researching shop food hygiene ratings, customers are more aware than ever before of who they’re buying food from.

So how has the industry adapted to continue to serve customers despite difficult situations? We take a closer look at three of the main ways fish and chip shops have embraced change to survive and thrive following the first lockdown.

1. Developing a new demand with delivery

With a forecasted 11 million users, the foodservice delivery market in the UK is now worth an approximate £8.5bn but in the past, delivery has been an option many fish and chip shops have been reluctant to try.

However with social distancing regulations becoming the ‘new normal’, fish and chip shops partnered with local taxi firms, relocated staff roles to delivery drivers or enlisted the help of third-party firms such as Deliveroo to cater to a demand of at-home dining.

The eagerness seen from customers to have their fish and chips delivered has opened the eyes of many shop owners, who now recognise a market of customers who are unable to travel but still want to enjoy a treat.

2. Catering to a rise of at home dining with click and collect

One quick way many fish and chip shops found they could continue to serve, was by implementing a click and collect system.

Customers can browse a menu online, pay for their order and choose a time slot to collect their food from the shop. By pre-ordering, it helps fish and chip shops prepare in advance whilst staggered collection times manage the customer numbers inside a shop at any one time.

3. Transitioning to new technology in takeaways

Before the pandemic forced a change in consumer habits, the takeaway food delivery market was estimated to account for 8% of the value of the overall food sector. However since the first lockdown in March 2020, fish and chips takeaways have seen a 208% uplift in orders.

Over the past year, a spotlight has been shone on how new forms of technology can help modernise our industry, from online ordering systems to digital menus and automated chat bots.

There’s no doubt the rise in takeaway technology has helped make the sudden change in consumer habits a smoother transition.

Prepare your shop for a growing market

As customers continue to enjoy the accessibility and convenience new takeaway tech offers them, it’s likely the change in consumer habits is here to stay.

Many fish and chip businesses have already rethought the layout of their shops to ensure their ranges accommodate for social distancing and a new way of serving customers.

If you need advice on how best to adapt your range layout to changing demands, please get in touch with Mallinson’s of Oldham or discover more about our bespoke British ranges.