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While you might be tempted to scale back on the promotions for this year’s National Fish & Chip Day on Friday 27th May there’s no reason to pull out of getting involved altogether. We’ve got a host of ideas that will help drive footfall and that don’t cost a fortune so you can make the most of this fantastic day

Discounted fish & chips – This is the simplest offer by far, whether it’s buy one get one free or reduced price fish and chips. Obviously this comes at a cost to the business but the big advantages here are that you’re generating goodwill and you’ll know before your customers walk in what they are going to order, making the day easier to handle.

Free food – Customers love getting something for nothing so this will always be a winner. Sides like mushy peas, curry sauce and gravy are ideal as they can be prepared ahead of time and don’t take up valuable space in your pans. You could always use the occasion to cook up samples of alternative species of fish, such as hake, pollock and coley, in preparation for adding them to the menu later on. Promote your homemade items, such as fishcakes or croquettes, by offering one free to the first 50 customers or to those that order over a set amount.

Nominate a local hero – Ask customers to nominate someone in the local community that deserves free fish & chips. It could be an individual, a local club, a care home or a ward at the local hospital. 

A working lunch – Drive lunchtime trade and develop relationships with local businesses by asking them to nominate their workplace or staff for a free fish & chips lunch and say why they are deserving. 

Vouchers – Issue a set number of vouchers for free fish & chips to a local food bank or homeless shelter to distribute ahead of the day, meaning the whole community can enjoy the day.

Happy birthday – Offer a free cone of chips for anyone whose birthday falls on National Fish & Chip Day. Just ask them to bring in photo ID. 

Feel Good Fryday – Ask customers to share their memories of fish and chips on your social media pages. It may be riding their BMX to bag a free portion of scraps or enjoying fish and chips on a cold winter’s day at the beach. See if anyone has any old photos to share too.

Something special – Speak to your fish merchant to see if they have a different species of fish that you can put on your menu at a special price. Or create a bespoke batter mix for a batter with a difference. Seasoned chips or loaded fries make another guest addition, not only are they on trend but they are highly profitable and the possibilities are endless.

Let lunchtime take the strain – Shops tend to focus on teatime, but why not do a special price on a lunchtime light bite? This not only promotes you as a lunchtime pitstop, but it may also take some of the pressure off at teatime. This will also appeal to those people still woking from home.

Instant win – Use our “I Love F&C” labels on the bottom of a set number of boxes, trays or tubs and customers win free fish & chips redeemable after National Fish & Chip Day. This works really well as you can label these up before the shift starts and it drives traffic after the event. 

Join the club – If you have a database you market to, develop an exclusive offer for club members only, maybe an exclusive deal or a special menu item only they have access to. Be sure to promote this early on to encourage customers to sign up, thereby increasing your database and the audience you can market to afterwards. 

Get kitted out – For just a few pounds you can buy red, white and blue bunting and balloons online to decorate your shop. You can even leave them up to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee the weekend after. Check out the NEODA website for National Fish & Chip Day branded t-shirts and caps as well as free downloadable posters to put up on your walls and in your windows ahead of the day.

Share the love – Ask customers to share the reasons why they love your fish & chip shop and tag in people they would like to share a portion of fish & chips with on the day.

Pay it forward – For every meal purchased, pledge to donate one to a local food bank, care home or community group. Or be eco-conscious and for every meal sold, pledge to plant a tree in the local community. This makes a great story to PR later on. 

Celebrity servers – Do you know any local celebrities who you can rope in for an appearance? Even better if you can get them serving behind the counter!

Be social – If you feel you’re already too busy, you can still join in with the day simply by posting up a photo, meme or gif on social media. Giphy.com is a great website for searching up free GIFs, clips, and stickers. Remember to use the hashtag #nationalfishandchipday. You can also change your social media headers for the day to raise awareness. Check out NEODA’s National Fish & Chip Day website for lots of downloadable content. 

Bouncebacks – Produce vouchers offering free items or a discount that customers can redeem after National Fish & Chip Day, encouraging them to return. There are loads of free apps available where you can create your own voucher, Canva is a great one . If you are giving away free food, add up the cost of what you’re offering and promote the fact that there is £XX worth of food up for grabs for a headline-grabbing PR story.

Record breakers – Create an internal competition whereby if you have a record-breaking day staff benefit with a small bonus. This will encourage them to spread the word and is a great way to say thank you after a busy shift. Or set a World Record yourself if you think you can wrap more than five portions of chips in 48 seconds or cook up a portion of fish and chips weighing in at over 121lb!

These are just a few ideas to get you started; you’ll probably have others of your own. Whatever you do, start promoting it as soon as possible so you stand the best chance of seeing a positive result. And let us know what you’re doing and how you got on.

Come on, let’s all get behind National Fish & Chip Day and make it a success!

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