“About 35% of our sales are baked or grilled fish or seafood and so the plancha and induction hob are essential pieces of kit for the business,” says John.
“Historically, we’ve had them separate but now they are built into the range it’s made everything so much easier. It brings everything in line so you can see from one end of the range to the other, and staff can be frying fish while also seeing to the gravy or the mushy peas.”
This has helped cut costs from a staffing perspective as well as reduced expenditure elsewhere. “I’m also saving on the install because it’s one set of extraction, not two, and on the cleaning, which is also one clean every six months rather than two,” says John.
With profit margins on cod and haddock increasingly being squeezed, many of the seafood additions cooked on the plancha and hob prove great earners for The Cod’s Scallops.
“Things like tiger prawns, scallops and squid, they are all add on options, customers tend not to have them as a main meal, they have them while waiting for their fish to be cooked,” says John. “The same goes for the mussels, we sell about 2kg a week across the shops, so they are all good menu options, even more so when people order online as customers generally over order.”
John’s already planned the summer menus, adding baked swordfish and tuna as well as some seasonal salads, and he’s gone as far as drafting the autumn offering too with more hearty fish curries and warming seafood chowders.
“There’s no excuse now for not putting something on the menu because we know with our Kiremko we’ve got the capacity to cook it,” says John. “We write the menu knowing that.”
And there’s a breakfast menu sketched out of kippers, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and smoked haddock omelette in preparation for opening mornings at the Harborne branch in Birmingham.
John adds: “We’ve got the pan space and the hobs to do it, we’ve got a brilliant coffee machine, we’ve got the staff and we’ve got the fish on the menu, so we might as well try and get a few more sales.”