The Frying Squad In Bangor Win National Award

The Frying Squad in Bangor, County Down, has won the Staff Training and Development Award after frying out on top at the 2016 National Fish & Chip Awards, organised by Seafish.

The Frying Squad was crowned the winner of a UK-wide award which recognises fish and chip businesses that excel in their staff training and development programmes, during a prestigious ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel in London.

and staff at The Frying Squad with Seafish representative Lynn Gilmore.
Michael Neill, managing director, and staff at The Frying Squad with Seafish representative Lynn Gilmore.

To earn their spot at the top, The Frying Squad has been appraised across a wide range of judging criteria including internal training policies and systems, training assessments to gauge the need for development, training support and forward plans for staff development. Branches of The Frying Squad also received mystery judging visits from an awards auditor who reviewed their staff training and development practices, in addition to ascertaining the level of customer service and quality of the fish and chips on offer.

Commenting on their award win Managing Director Michael Neill said: “After entering this award category for a third time, it’s amazing to have finally won! We are delighted to be able to display the trophy in our shop and celebrate with our team.

“Since our formation in 2003, an integral part of the business has been to provide excellent training for our staff, after all they are the next generation. We have an effective buddying system in place so new team members can learn all the tricks of the trade and we also facilitate external training when required.

“We’re dedicated to bringing out the best in all our staff, ensuring our customers receive a high standard of service. It’s great to be recognised for something we are so passionate about.”

Mel Groundsell, Corporate Relations Director of Seafish, said: “The aim of the National Fish & Chip Awards has always been to showcase the very best fish and chip businesses and individuals in the UK while setting incredibly high standards for the industry.

“It’s so important that we recognise and reward businesses excelling in staff training, not only to encourage improved training methods but to also help increase the knowledge and skill base of fish and chip shop staff, helping safeguard the industry for generations to come.

“The high levels of knowledge and expertise observed in this award category continue to get stronger, year-on-year. The Frying Squad has a wealth of expertise and passion in ensuring the development of their staff, which was demonstrated in abundance throughout the judging process. Winning such a prestigious award for their commitment to supporting the skills development of their staff is most admirable, I would like to offer my warmest congratulations and wish them all the best for the future.”

Award sponsor Philip Blakeman, Managing Director of James T Blakeman & Co Ltd, said: “As a family business with over 60 years’ experience and recognised as one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of sausage and meat products, staff training has always been an important part of our success.

“With more youngsters determined to pursue successful careers in the fish frying industry, training and development is the key to success. We are delighted to support an award that strives to safeguard the future of the fish frying industry; after all it’s about the people as much as the product.

“This year once again we saw an extremely high calibre of entries; however The Frying Squad, competing at the highest level, came out on top and proved to be a real credit to the industry.”

Now in their 28th year, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the ‘Oscars’ of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses.

With 14 different award categories, they cater for every aspect of running a successful fish and chip business, recognising everything from traditional takeaways to mobile operators to excellence in training and responsible sourcing.

For further information on The National Fish & Chip Awards please visit:

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