Has your local chip shop switched to click and collect or delivery yet?

Forget queuing outside a chippie - deliveries of fish, chips and mushy peas to your doorstep are now a "massive part" of the industry, according to the body which represents the nation's fish and chip shops.

Fish and chips are the second most popular British dish, according to YouGov Picture:Yui Mok/PA Wire
Fish and chips are the second most popular British dish, according to YouGov Picture:Yui Mok/PA Wire

There has been a "significant shift" since the pandemic says director of the National Federation of Fish Friers Hugh Mantle and businesses that don't keep up with the Internet-driven changes in behaviour could fall by the wayside.

This week Just Eat said UK deliveries had risen nearly five-fold in the final quarter of 2020, as more families were forced to eat at home, amid tough restrictions and lockdowns.

Mr Mantle said: "Those businesses that have organised themselves to do click and collect and delivery will have done OK, you have to move with the times.

"If you look at the people on our board of directors they all operate click and collect and deliver.

"This is a massive part of our industry and I don't think it will change."

He said: "We used to work on the maxim if there was good parking within 100m that was good.

"My view is that if there isn't good parking within 10ft of the front door, people will like delivery as an option."

The changes in the way people consume takeaways comes at a pivotal moment for the industry.

In 2018 former chief medical officer Prof Dame Sally Davies called for taxes on unhealthy food high in sugar and salt, saying the food industry had failed the public.

The NFFF is currently lobbying the Government along with the British Takeaway Campaign, prior to the Government making a decision due this year.

Dame Sally's recommendations, which included more ambitious targets for salt reduction in food, aim to tackle the preventable causes of 50 per cent of chronic diseases and 40 per cent of cancers - including an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

Mr Mantle said the principle of what Dame Sally set out to do was "right" but implementation, which includes making more information available to customers about the calories, fat and sugar they are consuming, is going to take time.

"What we are talking about is small businesses. We are supposed to be a nation of shopkeepers. We are potentially pulling the rug from people who have problems with food safety let alone this."

He says research a few years ago by fishing industry quango Seafish proved it was all down to portion size - with six ounces of fish and eight of chips providing 800 calories.

"In Yorkshire it's not a million miles from that. In other areas of the country - the North East and the Midlands - it is much worse," he said.