UK - Voted the UK’s best Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop at the 2014 National Fish & Chip Awards in January this year, the people behind Quayside in Whitby can’t quite believe how much life has changed.
Run by brothers Stuart and Adrian Fusco, Quayside has seen its turnover rocket by 100 per cent since winning the top award.
Describing the restaurant’s meteoric rise Stuart said: “It’s been a whirlwind. We’ve always worked hard so I wouldn’t say we’re doing more, we’re just working differently now. My typical day sees me flex across the restaurant as well as front any media activity. Now there’s something I never thought I’d say.
“Just the other month the shop was on Countryfile and a few days later I was asked to oversee the preparation of the fish and chip portions that were being introduced on British Airways flights. It’s bizarre to think that people will see my face when they open their inflight magazine. But I am not complaining.”
Since scooping the top prize in January, Stuart and Adrian have employed 10 more staff to help keep up with demand. They have gone from 40 full and part time staff to 50 full time staff who include posing for shop selfies as part of their main duties.
“People actually come to the outside of the shop to have their pictures taken next to our sign. We’re a tourist attraction. Many customers admit to travelling hundreds of miles just to try our fish and chips.”
Stuart admits that he still works 14 hour days, just like he always did, but makes sure he keeps some time aside for what matters most – his family.
The busy husband and father of three takes at least two days off a week to spend quality time with his wife and kids. This November after the summer season is long behind them the Fuscos will be downing tools and heading for some much deserved sunshine in the Canary Islands.
Stuart describes his day job as hard work, but there is nothing else he would rather do. With quality high on the agenda, the men are in no hurry to expand, however they will lend some of their time to extend the upper level of the restaurant and convert it into a function suite for use during the winter months.
With the 2015 National Fish & Chip Awards well under way, Stuart said that it was surreal not seeing his name in the current Top 60 listing.
He added: “When you’ve been striving for something for so long, and you get into a routine of writing awards submissions, it’s weird not doing it this year.”
But Stuart’s customers can rest assured that this is because he is not allowed to enter the current awards, as the rules state that the residing winner needs to sit out for one year.
“Even though we’re on a high at the moment, we know we need to stay focused which is why above everything else, our main priority is to keep producing the best fish and chips we possibly can. That’s our bread and butter.”
The annual National Fish & Chip Awards recognise the quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses across the UK. Seafish will reward the best talent and highest standards in the fish frying industry at the 2015 awards ceremony on 20 January at The Lancaster London Hotel.
TheFishSite News Desk