Installing a four pan Kiremko island range has propelled Maxs Traditional Fish & Chips to a new level and, in turn, stoked interest in the industry for owner Jatinder Sahota

The Sahota family is well-known on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, having run the award-winning Maxs Londis convenience store for the past 32 years. In 2014, son Jatinder took on the chip shop next door when the owner honoured an agreement made years earlier to give the family first refusal when he retired.

Happy with the return the chip shop was generating, Jatinder hadnt paid it too much attention until two years ago when increased competition from the big chains started to eat into its turnover, making running a fully staffed shop financially challenging.

Jatinder decided to approach the chippy in the same way he had the convenience store; he visited the best shops for inspiration, looked at new products, researched the latest equipment, set out his USPs and committed to a refurbishment complete with a new frying range.

Jatinder comments: With the convenience store, the biggest expenditure is refrigeration. So I realised that the biggest expenditure in the chip shop would be the range as thats the heartbeat of the store. I knew the shop had bags of potential and I wanted something I could grow into so I replaced the wall range with a four pan Kiremko island range.”

After a delay in reopening due to Covid, the new shop finally debuted in March this year and in Jatinders opinion Max’s is easily the busiest chippy in the area now.

The range is fantastic,” he says. “It not only enables us to shift volume but produce a quality product as well. Blanching chips with the baskets has been a game-changer. No one in my area does that so everyone was used to a soggy chip around here. Now we twice fry so the chips are crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth on the inside.

And fish, we can get so much more fish in the pans which means customers arent waiting as long, especially on Fridays, and Saturdays, as we pride ourselves on the waiting time.

“The range has enabled us to improve what we do on so many more levels.

Its just so easy to use too – setting the temperatures, for example. Weve just come onto the new seasons potatoes and we can easily adjust the temperatures so the chips are consistent.

“The filtration too is a game-changer. I filter the pans every morning and it’s just such a noticeable change, you can see the difference in the oil immediately. Of course, oil comes to the end of its life at some point, but the filtration just extends it so much.”

Click here to read how Chris’s Fish & Chips in Barwell, Leicester, has reduced its gas bill by 66% and its carbon footprint by 75% after investing in a five pan Kiremko frying range.

With sales up month-on-month, its not just the chip shop that is benefiting from an uplift in trade, sales of items such as chocolate, desserts, soft drinks, and condiments at the convenience store have gone up as footfall to the parade of shops has increased too.

With the chip shop back on track, Jatinder now aspires to be as good as those shops he visited and researched, adding: Youre never the finished article, a good retailer is always learning and thats something Im very grateful to KFE for. They’ve helped me so much with advice on frying techniques, operational set-up, how we can do things better and how we can raise the bar to get to where the top shops are.

Im also looking forward to networking when events open up again. KFE has helped introduce me to that side of things too as I never really knew much about the industry until I bought my range. But just by going to the different events I’ll get to meet like-minded people in the industry and learn from them.

For me, investing in something is never just about money, its about the people I’m dealing with and what the after-sales is going to be like, and I can honestly say KFE have been brilliant. Even before KFE sorted out the exact quote for the range I’d already decided it was going to be a yes, thats how confident I was in them. And I’m so glad because I havent looked back.”