Banico Zeniou, owner of Fylde Fish Bar

An award-winning fish and chip shop owner is urging people to support their local chippy as businesses face ‘the perfect storm’ of rising costs caused by the war in Ukraine. 

Banico Zeniou, along with wife Jodie, owns branches of the Fylde Fish Bar on: Fylde Road, in Marshside, Southport; Weld Road, in Birkdale, Southport; and Ringtail Estate in Burscough, West Lancashire. 

The restaurant is a previous runner-up in the National Fish & Chip Awards and has been shortlisted in the Awards on a number of occasions.

Banico is asking people to carry on supporting chippies across the UK at the moment, as they face crippling price rises in everything from the cost of fish, to the cost of batter, to the cost of potatoes, to the cost of energy and fuel. 

He is keen to see customers continue to visit these institutional local businesses to help them get through these turbulent times. 

The rising price of cod is one example of the difficulties being faced, with much of the catch previously arriving from Russian waters – now out of bounds due to sanctions. 

Banico is asking people to consider other options from the menu too in the short term until a peaceful solution can be found in Ukraine. 

He said: “Like everyone, we are really saddened to see the daily horrors of the war in Ukraine and the devastation it is causing to the people living there and to the growing numbers of refugees. We hope they can find a way of ending this conflict as soon as possible.” 

The situation is starting to have an impact on businesses around Europe.

Banico said: “These are challenging times at the moment, not just for us, but for chippies across the country. If this situation continues much longer then I can see some businesses having to close down. It is that bad. 

“This is not just for me. I am asking people to support their local chippy wherever they are in the UK. 

“People should be aware of what is going on at the moment and how this situation is affecting local businesses. 

“The price of our cod for example has gone up by 33% in the past two weeks. They reckon it is likely to go up by another 60% in the next couple of weeks. 

“It is because 40% of the cod that comes into this country comes from Russian waters, which is now being impacted by sanctions on Russia. 

“Because of the sanctions, the price of all white fish is going up. 

“Another issue we face is cooking oil, 40% of which comes from Ukraine. 

“Another problem is wheat, which they grow in Ukraine, which they use to make the flour that we use to make batter for our fish. 

“The soaring costs of fertiliser at the moment means that potatoes are becoming dearer. 

“We are also experiencing significant price increases in gas and electricity. 

“It is creating the perfect storm for fish and chip shops across the UK. This is hitting the whole industry. 

“I hope they can find a peaceful resolution to this terrible war in Ukraine soon. 

“I hope people everywhere will continue to support their local fish shop until they do. 

“We really need people to support us right now. 

“We are trying our best not to put our prices up for as long as we can. 

“In addition to things like cod, we will also be looking at other fish that we can also offer to our customers, although we will only ever sell fish that is top quality. 

“We are asking people to please support your local chippy while we are in these challenging times.” 

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