Dean Banks’ team have been kept busy by customers serving up more than 1,000 fish suppers during their second weekend in business.
Fife’s MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Dean Banks is toasting a successful weekend in business having served up more than 1,000 suppers at his new high-end fish and chip restaurant in St Andrews.
On Friday night the team at Haarbour battled to get 150 suppers out in the space of just an hour, before dishing out more than 400 servings of the Scottish favourite on Sunday.
Tackling the huge socially-distanced queues, Dean said it was his eight staff at the helm of the operation which ensured they got through the growing number of orders as quickly as possible.
He said: “It was good – we did around 300 suppers on Friday night. We had around a team of eight on shift during that busy period.
Smashed it tonight at Haarbour! Team did amazing! 150 fish suppers in one hour… pic.twitter.com/ywbu0Qnmhr
— ChefDeanBanks (@banks_chef) October 23, 2020
“It is kind of like a military operation. One person’s job is to drop the fish in the fryer, one person is looking after the fish and taking it out, another is frying chips and there’s two people boxing, and one on the till. Everyone is set on what their role is and everyone has picked it up really quickly, too.
“Being a new business, everyone has been trained really quickly and has the right head focus on during service which is great.”
Selling out on Sunday after 400 portions of fish and chips were ordered by customers, Dean says the new eatery fired out 1,000 suppers across the weekend.
“We sold out on Sunday – I think we did around 400 portions of fish and chips yesterday. There was around 1,000 fish suppers over the weekend. It’s our second weekend in and it is just brilliant. I think everyone is really enjoying it and it is great for staff morale.
“If you’re quiet there’s not much for everyone to do and I’d hate for people to be bored at work. When it is busy everyone is buzzing and raring to go.”
Putting his new buzzer system through its paces, Dean said the system, which allows customers to order in the venue and then go out to their cars to wait to be notified when their order is ready, helped in managing customer flow through the building.
Used in numerous Alps Apres Ski resorts, it is a new way of operating for Dean and his team.
“The buzzer system has been working really well. Customers come in, place their order and can either hang around outside or go and sit in their car. When the buzzer goes they just come and grab their order from the other window,” said Dean.
“We close the restaurant part of the venue at 6pm because of the curfew so we have a secondary door where we have created an entrance and collection area. It is working really well and it is great to be so busy.”
With suppers proving popular it is Dean’s tempura Korean haddock, a fusion of Asian flavours and a Scottish delight, which has been customers top pick since opening the high end fish and chip shop.
He said: “The tempura Korean haddock has been the best seller so far. It is still a fish supper but it is tempura, gochujang and I think people are just willing to try something different – that’s what we’re here to offer. We obviously have the traditional fish and chips but we’ve got all of these other things people can try, too.”
Grateful for the support from local customers, Dean has managed to employ 20 people at Haarbour and says he couldn’t have done it without the support of the local community.
“The support from the public has been amazing. We were a little last minute in launching but we have such a great community in the local area who are really supportive. We saw a lot of our regular faces from Haar restaurant who have been over to try it out. We have had some people come in three or four times in the first week already.”