National Chip Week: Golden Wonders

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Related tags: National chip, Fish and chips, Chips

Frying tonight? Chips are a staple of classic pub food. Steak, burgers, fried fish and scampi are all consistently in the top 10 pub dishes,...

Frying tonight? Chips are a staple of classic pub food. Steak, burgers, fried fish and scampi are all consistently in the top 10 pub dishes, according to the annual Publican Food Report, and all are traditionally served with a side order of chips - not fries, not wedges, but proper, British chips.

So why would pubs need to promote such a popular dish? It certainly never hurts to remind customers what it is you're good at, and National Chip Week is an opportunity for pubs to drive sales of chips - which command a high profit margin.

This year's National Chip Week takes place from February 9 to 15. The ambassador, TV celebrity Keith Chegwin, has launched a search for Britain's tastiest chip and is looking for nominations for a prestigious Perfect Portion Award.

The Perfect Portion Awards, the chip Oscars, will recognise outlets in nine different regions across the UK. Cheggers will also be handing out five special 'Keith Chegwin Perfect Portion Chip Awards' in person.

There are many other ways that caterers can make the most of National Chip Week, whether it's by holding a celebratory 'Chip Night' or introducing a special chip menu for the duration of the week.

Even just adding a simple commemorative dish to blackboards can encourage customers to enjoy some tasty chips - boosting sales and profits.

Paul Bloxham, TV chef, and chef patron at the award-winning Tilbury pub in Hertfordshire, is a real chip enthusiast. He says: "There are so many ways to enjoy chips, from home-made traditional chips to oven chips spiced with a kick.

"Chips are always a favourite choice at my pub. Fluffy on the inside, crisp and golden on the outside and with all the goodness of potatoes - it's not surprising that they are so popular on menus."

With provenance increasingly an issue for consumers, the celebration is also an opportunity to promote British food. McCain sources British potatoes for all its chips, while owning a potato seed business in Montrose puts a focus on British potatoes even before planting.

The company works with more than 300 farmers in the UK, with many of those relationships stretching back over three generations - each crop has its own 'potato passport' detailing where each potato was grown, by who and even the rainfall conditions.

Adrian Greaves, McCain Food-service associate director, says: "National Chip Week is a great opportunity for pubs to provide the best of British for their customers. For a country that is famous for its British fish and chips, this is the perfect moment to boost sales at a particularly difficult time by promoting the week and actively selling more."

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