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Elbow Grease!

Fiddlers Elbow at Leintwardine Still Open

 A NORTH Herefordshire fish and chip shop has remained open during the continuing Covid-19 crisis and tells us why here.

By Austen Dack

The Fiddlers Elbow Fish and Chips in Rosemary Lane, Leintwardine, has stayed open and continues to serve its community with its award-winning fish and chips. The village has a population of just over 800 and this shop is typical of many owner operator run shops across the UK.

I spoke to owner Dominic Eusden regarding their decision to stay open and see how things have gone in the meantime.

AD – What were the main factors in you staying open, at a time when many shops have closed?

DE – Myself and my partner Linzi had a couple of sleepless nights over this. Our business had been through a difficult period with business all but wiped out due to the bad floods in the region. Just as we were starting to get back to normal, corona reared its ugly head and it could again have left the community without us, and us again without a living.

 AD – What measures did you take in order to keep the public safe at your premises?

DE – Immediately we stopped all walk ins to the shop. We were to become delivery only. We set up a 4-mile radius for deliveries. Thus far we have had only one person at the window asking for food. We reduced our opening hours and menu to suit our new business model. No collections are possible

AD – What measures did you take in order to ensure your staff are safe?

DE – Our shop is mainly ran by Linzi and myself. We are both fit and well touch wood thus far. Our deliveries are dropped off outside and we check from a safe distance that they have been taken in. No cash is taken all food is paid for before delivery takes place at time of order. Our delivery driver keeps at least 2m away from us too

AD- Who has been using your delivery service?

DE- We have been surprised at the number of new customers we have gained through this service. Over 30% of users have been new to us (not been in shop before). Although our delivery service started in January, take-up had been slow. With us being 100% delivery at the moment we get lots of families, the elderly and those who are self-isolating too ordering.

AD – How much do you charge for delivery?

DE- FREE within 1.0-mile radius then between £3 and £5 up to 4/5-mile radius. Minimum spend ranges from £5 to £20 depending on how far we have to travel.

AD How did you promote this change of business model?

DE- On our social network pages and website. We then posted on all local facebook sites we could find. Word soon got around.

AD – How are you for supplies?

DE – We had just had our Middletons order and Brakes. We have plenty of oil potatoes and batter but fish may become a problem soon. Lack of supplies could be the only reason for us to shut.

AD – How are takings?

DE – We have taken enough to keep the shop going. It was never about getting rich whilst others were shut. It was about providing a safe service to our community, keeping fish and chips in our customers minds, and the shop ticking over whilst we wait for things to return to normal.

AD – Any reaction from the community/trade?

DE – Yes great from our customers, they are pleased to get their food delivered. We offer 10% discount through the blue light card, so hopefully we are helping local NHS staff too. We’ve had a couple of negative messages from the trade. We know opening is impossible for many, but hopefully this article will help people understand that it is ok for some to be open as long as we stick to the guidelines and it is safe to do so.

From the Fiddlers Elbow website

We will be open again this week to continue to supply fish & chips to the community and customers further afield.

As usual we will be strictly adhering to government guidelines.

Orders can be placed online for delivery by visiting www.fiddlerselbowchippy.co.uk

Debit/Credit Card & PayPal accepted

When ordering it will say order for now, if you would like a particular time please state in the comments and we will do what we can to fulfil that time.

During these times orders may take longer to deliver, if you could refrain from contacting us to chase the order as this will only delay the orders. We are working flat out to get all orders delivered for the stated time; however, we kindly ask for a little patience.

Last week we were busy with deliveries and we thank you all for your custom and support.

We look forward to receiving your orders and we wish all our customers will stay home & safe, allow us to come to you.

COVID-19 safety measure:

We have temporarily changed our opening hours

The hours are:

Tuesday to Saturday – 12:00 to 14:00 & 17:00 to 20:00

The shop is CLOSED to the public and we are operating deliveries only. We accept online payments (Debit/Credit Card or PayPal). For the safety of our team and customers we will not be accepting cash payments.

We value your custom and understanding during these worrying times.

Are you still open? Email austen@chippychat.co.uk

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