A Lanarkshire chip shop has tasted success after again earning a place in a prestigious ranking of the UK’s top 50 takeaways.
Tony’s Chip Shop in Coatbridge retained its place in the list of best fish and chip shops compiled annually by industry publication Fry Magazine.
It was the second consecutive year in which the Shawhead chippie has been included in the top 50 after impressing mystery-shopper judges, and was awarded an eighth award in six years for delighted owner Hugh Innes and his team.
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He told Lanarkshire Live: “It’s a prestigious award – there are up to 10,000 chip shops entering the competition and we’re a small independent winning awards and upping our game every year.
“We had two visits from mystery diners in October and January, and they scored us on lots of things like the quality of food, how crispy the batter is, how fluffy and well cooked the chips are, plus more categories like hygiene and service.
“Our score was 98 per cent and we’re really pleased to be in the top 50 as it’s more difficult to qualify each year; and it’s an amazing achievement by all the team for all their hard work through the difficult times in the past couple of years.”
Tony’s is one of only 10 chip shops in Scotland to be included in the Fry magazine list, and is the only one located in the central belt with the next nearest top-50 accolade winners being in Ayrshire.
Its four staff members are now proudly displaying their latest award alongside last year’s top 50 plaque, while they have also collected honors for the shop’s former mobile van service and been honored at the Scottish Italian awards.
Hugh, who has been in the trade for more than four decades and took over the Berwick Street business eight years ago, added: “The feedback from customers has been really good and they’ve all said it’s amazing and well deserved.
“We started out by putting solid foundations in place and building on that every year, and it’s amazing where we’ve got to; it’s all about the quality of food, customer service and we’re always trying to innovate.
“At the moment we’re seeing lots of changes and there’s the difficulty of price increases for everything like fish, oil, packaging – they’ve gone up by 30 to 40 per cent and things are getting tighter and tighter, but we always try to keep things as fair as we can, and quality comes first.
“People have been enjoying coming back into the shop in the past year and having some normality, and they travel from places like Glenboig and even Motherwell to come to Tony’s; it shows that when you put your heart and soul into something, people notice.”
Fry magazine competition organizer Reece Head said: “The awards recognize and celebrate the hard work, passion and dedication that these operators put into running their businesses.
“It’s been a tough couple of years for the industry, in particular for restaurants that have had to deal with closures, but operators continued to adapt, motivate their workforce and invest in new equipment and systems that have seen them come out the other side stronger and in a better position.
“Our 50 best takeaway winners really do represent the best in the business and they continue to showcase fish and chips as a high-quality, value-for-money meal.”
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