Wigan chippy earns spot on list of UK's 50 best fish and chip shops

A Wigan chippy has been named one of the best 50 fish and chip shops in the country.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 9:43 am
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 9:44 am

The Fish at Goose Green has earned a place on Fry Magazine’s 50 Best Takeaways of 2021, after going through a rigorous inspection process.

Mystery diners visited the Clapgate Lane chippy and secretly assessed more than 40 aspects of their business, from the quality of fish and chips and staff presentation, to front-of-house hygiene and customer service.

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Barry Howard and Zoe Clarke celebrate being named in the Fry Magazine Top 50 fish and chip shops of 2021

All businesses inspected were awarded extra marks for focusing on areas such as the provenance of their products, for example communicating where their fish, potatoes and frying medium are sourced, offering card payment facilities and having a five star food hygiene rating.

Once again, the food remained the main focus, with all outlets assessed on the flakiness of the fish, the crispness of the chips and the crunch of the batter, alongside value for money.

Eateries had to earn score 97% on their inspection reports to be included on the final list.

The Little Chippy, in Tyldesley, was also included in the Top 50 list.

The Fish At Goose Green’s inspection resulted in praised across several areas, with its food quality and the professional attitude of the staff being highlighted.

“It’s a slick clean operation when you walk into the store, not much improvement I could think of,” the inspector reported, adding: “The chips just melted in your mouth when bitten into and were perfect chippy chips”.

Chippy owner Barry Howard said the inclusion was down to the hard work of his staff.

He said: “I bought the shop two years ago. We entered last year but with the pandemic, and everything shut down, it wasn’t really a fair competition. So we re-entered this year. We’ve got a nice team here and they’ve done a really good job.

“We’re building up our reputation on quality fish and chips. We don’t do anything else, like kebabs or burgers. It’s just a true English chippy, old-style.”

Barry added: “We’ve worked hard at building the business. It’s been hard because of the pandemic. It’s been hard for everybody in the industry, so to be successful in this competition is a nice thing to have. It’s a nice reward for my staff.

“They’ve worked really hard. We’ve got all the systems in place to be Covid-secure, and we’ve not had a single person off ill. It’s a big testament to what they’ve been doing, I’m really happy with my team.”

Established in 1999, Fry Magazine is the leading trade publication for the fish and chip shop sector, delivering industry news to more than 10,500 fish and chip shops.

It launched its nationwide 50 Best Fish & Chip Takeaways competition in 2012, later adding two new categories - 10 Best Fish & Chip Restaurants and 10 Best Mobile Operators.

Commenting on this year’s awards, Reece Head, competition organiser, said: “Without doubt, the last 12 months have been tough for fish and chip operators and many will not have dealt with this level of crisis management before.

“Allowed to operate during the pandemic, there was a lot they had to implement in a very short space of time to operate in a Covid safe manner. Many takeaways had to flip their businesses to click and collect and delivery, serve at the door, introduce card payments and work in much smaller teams. Likewise, mobile units introduced pre-orders and added new routes and additional vans to keep the nation fed.

“During a time of uncertainty, these operators have helped maintain a sense of normality. They’ve been at the heart of their communities, with a smile on their faces and hot food in their hands. And the fact that we’ve had our highest pass mark ever is testament to their hard work and dedication, and we would like to congratulate each and every one.”

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