The real price of a fish and chip shop

Johnson Reed
3m read

Launching or refreshing a fish and chip shop is no small task. In fact, the associated costs can often take business owners by surprise. That’s why more and more are using specialist finance to plug the gaps and afford the very best premises and equipment.

But how much are we talking about? What price tag might a fish and chip shop come with? Here are some typical industry costs to inform your future plans…

The venue

Are you buying or leasing the chippy? Where are you setting up shop? Estimate venue costs can vary tremendously depending on location. Higher business rates should also be taken into consideration if you’re looking at a prime spot on the coast or high street.

Location is key. For a busy town centre in a big city, a venue could be £500,000. Compare this to the £20,000-£25,000 range in smaller, less densely populated and affluent areas. In either case, you’re looking at £20,000+ in order to secure the space.

Scout around for the very best buildings, and conduct market research so you can assess how much footfall you’re likely to see (and therefore what return on investment you can expect).

The fit-out

If it wasn’t a chip shop previously, the venue has to be modified for two things: a safe, legal operation, and a welcoming place that people love coming back to.

Firstly, ensure you have a ventilation system that’s been installed, cleaned and checked by an expert. The price for this will depend on the surrounding architecture, which can make it tougher to fit. This could spell the difference between several thousand pounds and over £100,000.

Next, think about seating, counters and other design aspects. A countertop can start from as much as £500. You’ll need seat or stool arrangements too, which cost around £15 per item. Are you doing table service? Each table adds roughly £30 at the lower end, and £50 for more traditional models.

Price up your toilets, utilities and drainage as well. Chip shops must use grease filter traps to prevent fat from blocking your pipes, for example – each costing £500-£900 on average.

The equipment

As Richardson’s Fish Bar discovered, a great frying range is crucial if you want to stay competitive in the local market. The more you spend on fryers for launch, the better your reputation is likely to get. It’s often recommended that you spend over £1,000 per unit for this very reason.

However, a four-pan fish fryer might set you back £7,000 alone. Some carry display counters – others don’t, and will incur an extra cost.

Elsewhere, consider other tools such as:

  • A potato chipper (£400-£2,500)
  • A fish freezer (£2,000-£3,000)
  • A soft drinks fridge (£300-£800)
  • Knives, spatulas and prep supplies

The total amount – including venue, fit-out and equipment – will depend on whether you already own a chip store, are buying one for the first time, or are merely carrying out a revamp. But at the very least, expect to start at £50,000 or so and go from there.

We’ve been helping dozens of fish and chip businesses get off the ground with a loan or a lease, just when they need it most. Johnson Reed’s alternative lenders know what it takes to run a venue in this industry. In some cases, we can even approve a loan or lease agreement in a matter of days. Speak to us for more details.