With prices increasing up to 20% for fish and chip shops, local businesses share their thoughts on the inevitable reality of a £10 fish supper.
Dispute the pandemic restrictions lifting, many businesses in the hospitality sector have felt the effects, including being forced to increase prices to continue operating.
This is especially visible in fish and chip shops which customers fondly visit on a weekly basis to enjoy their evening chippie.
According to the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), batter costs have jumped by 40% in the past year and packaging is up by as much as 70%.
The price of fish has also skyrocketed, with cod up by 70% and haddock by 81% in a matter of months.
The NFFF is telling its members that one in three chip shops in the UK could close because of the extra financial strain.
Meanwhile, rising gas prices are having an outsized impact on chip shops because of their energy high consumption.
‘Prices have shot through the roof’
Speaking with Fifie fish and chip shop owner Benedetto Di Ponio, he comments on experiencing a sharp price increase in the last year.
“It is hard to know if the reason is Brexit or the pandemic on its own, because it all happened at the same time.
“The cost of packaging and fish prices has shot through the roof in the last two years, and a good 15-20% in just this last year.
“We’ve been forced to put our prices up, but it hasn’t affected the number of customers buying from us yet. Long-term I don’t know what the effects will be.
“A £10 fish supper could definitely be around the corner. We normally see a spike in fish prices in April and May time anyway because of the limited supply in fish. So it will interesting so see what happens then, we might be forced to put our prices up again”
A bad spell for fish and chips
These concerns were echoed by owner Anna Angus of Murray’s fish and chip shop in Broughty Ferry.
Anna commented: “We don’t usually put prices up, but we had to put them up around a month ago, and I think we will have to put them up again.
“Costs have risen again in the past few weeks with gas, electricity and fuel. Everything has had an impact, especially with our deliveries increasing due to the pandemic.
“I would say its gone up about 20%, with the price of oil and potatoes increasing. The cost of haddock and fish has gone up quite a bit also, so we are taking it a day at a time.
Murray’s has seen a quieter January than usual, with their customers becoming aware of the prices.
Anna explained: “I think we are going to go into a bad spell for fish and chips, because I can’t see customers wanting to pay that much.
“I am hoping a fish £10 fish supper is not around the corner, but some shops are selling for £10 already. But we would rather keep it below £10 and keep the quality high.”
Is a £10 fish supper the new norm?
Restaurant manager Paul Harris at Tailend in St Andrews has not seen the prices rising during the pandemic, but is sure this is not far off.
“We haven’t had to put our prices up over the last year during and after pandemic, but in the near future the costs may rise to the extent that we will have to raise our prices” stated Paul.
“I am not sure if that’s to do with Brexit and where the fish is coming from, but for us the fish is sourced locally, so that is probably why we haven’t been affected as badly.
“However, a £10 fish supper is easily going to happen. I already know places that charge more than £10, so it’s not unheard of.”