Fish & Chips

Everything you  need to open a shop!

How to: Opening a Fish & Chip Shop

8 of 10 Australian's live within 50km of the ocean.
It's no wonder then that fish and chips have endured as a staple dish in just about every Australian town. Like so many other parts of Australian society, fish and chips are a multicultural influence that caters to a wide audience. Did you know the (often credited) first fish and chip shop in Australia opened in 1879 on Sydney's Oxford Street? There are now over an estimated 4,000 fish and chip shops on our shores, playing a crucial role in popularising the takeaway experience.

Are you thinking of opening a Fish & Chip Shop?

Here are the most important aspects of starting a Fish & Chip Shop.
  1. Location
  2. Writing a Business Plan
  3. Finding Suppliers
  4. Design & Fitout
  5. Council Approvals
  6. Choosing Equipment
  7. Payment Methods - financing
  8. Regulations
  9. Naming/Branding
  10. Hiring Staff

1. Location

When talking about a business, a common phrase you'll come across is 'Location, Location, Location.' You'll want to start by thinking about the type of food you'll be selling, and what the style will be. Once you know your customers better, it'll be easier to find a suitable location for your new shop. Fast Food & Takeaway is often positioned towards the 15-35 age range, a spontaneous crowd that is often connected to another activity like visiting the beach, or an evening out with friends. You're going to want a typically lower income area, which still sees high foot traffic and density.

2. Writing a Business Plan

Even the smallest business can benefit from a business plan. It allows you to communicate your vision to others and help persuade them to meet your goals. It includes market research, strategies, target audiences, staff, obstacles and direction. There are lots of tools online to help you get started with your business plan:

3. Finding Suppliers

Getting the right partners in business is crucial to your success. At CSS we've developed partnerships with manufacturers around the world to give you access to the tools for success. Take advantage of our 45 years of experience with real practical knowledge. Receive information on new products, get the most competitive prices and take the stress out of maintaining 15 different suppliers, CSS does it all for you.

4. Design & Fit-out

The first step when designing or building new food premises or to make changes to an existing one is to develop or obtain existing plans. This allows the local government to assess the proposed premises before construction or fit-out commences. A site plan, floor plan, sectional elevation drawing to show all fittings and equipment, hydraulic plans for plumbing and a mechanical exhaust ventilation drawing.

Included on the plans needs to be specifications to allow appropriate assessment, think finishes to floors, walls and ceilings. The layout of all equipment, benches, fixtures and fittings. Door and window openings. Where seating is provided for diners, the number of square metres of floor space available for dining and the number of persons to be catered for in this area. Customer and staff bathroom facilities. And a process flow showing the product received through to end-product delivered.
When opening a business, it is often the planning phase that gives new business owners the most trouble. The amount of expertise and knowledge required to effectively prepare all these documents is often overwhelming and most entrepreneurs seek help from professionals like CSS. It might be worth considering a complete turnkey service. CSS can manage the entire project lifecycle from site selection and design through to statutory approvals and procurement while managing costs and analysis, taking away the headache of starting a new business.

5. Council Approvals

The plans required for design & fit-out are only a part of the overall council approval process. Each local council and state government comes with a different set of approval guidelines. These might include:
  • Food Business License
  • Food Safety Supervisor Notification
  • Council Inspection
  • Commercial Character Building
  • Planning Approval
  • Building Approval
  • Parking
  • Advertising

The wealth of industry knowledge and practical experience at CSS can give your business an advantage in this approval process. Ask us how your vision can become a reality at a below-industry standard fee.

6. Choosing Equipment

A typical Fish & Chip Shop requires commercial equipment to prepare meals effectively. In addition to helping you build and design your new shop, CSS can help you stock your kitchen at the most competitive prices. As a trusted supplier to the quick-service restaurant and greater-food industry, our global partnerships will get you ready for customers at a lower cost to you.
You’ll need:
  • Large fridges – for keeping fish fresh, these range in sizes depending on your needs,
  • Deep Fryer – A staple in every Fish & Chip Shop,
  • A Grill or Stove – For non-deep-fried items,
  • Chip Scuttle – A hygienic unit for storing freshly made chips,
  • Potato Peeling Machine – For peeling the mass of potatoes for chips a machine can lift some of that burden,
  • Batter Mixer – To mix the large quantities of batter you’ll need,
  • Heated food display – To display freshly fried fish and other produce to customers,
  • Storage Freezer – A large storage freezer is essential for all of the fresh fish and produce you’ll need to keep backed up,
  • Utensils & smallwares – Think scoops, tongs, knives, salt and vinegar bottles,
  • Scrap bin – To dispose of any unwanted or unsuitable scraps and to help you keep the workspace clean and tidy,
  • Food storage bins – It's important you date your food and ensure it stays at consistent safe temperatures,
  • Point of Sale systems – To process sales/orders,
  • Storage Shelving/Racks – Dunnage racks & shelving can make organising your produce easy, think about how you will store all of your tools, equipment and food.
When planning your shop, you need to be considerate of health and safety. It’s important you buy the correct equipment for what your store needs. CSS has all the industry experience to help you decide what you need for the best product, including the appropriate installation carried out by a registered technician with the correct qualifications.

7. Payment Methods & Financing

CSS can help you find financing with our established partners.

8. Regulations

It's important that you familiarise yourself with the laws and regulations placed upon your business. When food is in question, regulating bodies are known to be intense and strict to ensure the safety of the public. Don't let this intimidate you, there are tools available from the government to make understanding the regulations easy.

9. Naming/Branding

How can you stand out from the crowd? With so many Fish & Chip Shops out there, it can be a competitive marketplace. One way to get eyes on your business is clever branding and marketing. A prominent colourful sign with a punny name could be the difference for customers considering your shop. Have your theme run throughout the menu boards, flyers and pamphlets and signage to grab your customers attention and keep your equipment well-maintained and serviced. CSS offers best-in-class 24/7 service with qualified service technicians around the nation. As such a large client, these specialists often give CSS jobs priority over others, so you can ensure your business stays operational for those peak dinner rushes.

10. Hiring Staff

If your shop will have tables, you'll need to consider waiting staff, along with counter assistants. Manager, Fish Fryer, Food Prep Assistant or Chef. These are classic Fish & Chip shop jobs that need filling to give your customers the best experience to keep them coming back.