The awards not only challenge business owners and staff, but also put shops on the map, giving them national recognition across the industry and beyond.
Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish, said: ‘The aim of the awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses in the UK, while setting incredibly high standards for the industry.
‘They provide an excellent opportunity for individuals and businesses to put their skills and knowledge to the test, and gain much deserved recognition.
‘Many of our past winners and finalists have gone on to reap substantial benefits from entering, including international fame through industry trips overseas, increased shop footfall and turnover and even launching their own products.
‘I can’t wait to see this year’s entrants and watch them as they progress through the competition, making their way to the grand finale in London.’
Carlyn Kearney, of Frankie’s Fish & Chips, in Brae, Shetland, winner of the 2015 Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award, said: ‘Being crowned champion was a huge honour for everyone here at Frankie’s.
‘Our success has helped put Shetland on the map and allowed us to showcase our product to fish and chip lovers around the world.
‘We’ve had a phenomenal amount of interest in our shop from a wide range of people – we even had two people specifically travel all the way from London just to get a taste of our fish and chips!
‘The National Fish & Chip Awards are a roller coaster of an experience and we would urge anyone with a passion for producing high quality, great tasting fish and chips to join the ride now!’
The awards represent a significant PR and marketing opportunity, offering businesses the chance to raise their customer and industry profile and increase turnover.
The Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award is one of the highest honours to receive as a fish and chip business and previous winners have gone on to great success and reported sales increases of up to 100 per cent.
This year, all businesses that submit an entry to the flagship Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award will be entered in a free prize draw to win a £2,000 voucher from BD Signs of Nottingham – which can be used for the purchase of some new state of the art digital menu boards and signage.
Seafish also send shortlisted businesses on a number of invaluable study trips providing participants with an exciting look into the inner workings of the wider seafood industry.