Seniors, the Fylde-coast fish and chip restaurant business, has announced plans to expand across Lancashire after one of its restaurants was named the UK’s best chippy.
Seniors, which grew turnover to £1.6million in 2011, will now target new locations along the M55 corridor into Preston and West Lancashire if the right sites become available.
The family business, which currently has three restaurants and 90 employees, has grown significantly since opening its Thornton operation in 2006 with funding from Yorkshire Bank. The two-storey new-build restaurant seats 100 people and in January was named the UK’s Fish and Chip Shop of the Year for 2012.
Its Lytham takeaway and restaurant, which opened in 2009, has also been a huge success and Seniors has plans to use this outlet as its model for new eateries elsewhere in the county.
Alastair Horabin, owner of Seniors, said: “At a time when most traditional fish and chip businesses are seeing sales down five to 15 per cent year-on-year, we’ve managed to hold our own in the last few years.
“The Lytham restaurant model has proven extremely efficient and we believe there are other areas in the county, particularly in and around Preston and Southport that could support, and would have the appetite for, a Seniors restaurant and takeaway. We will be looking at opportunities to expand the business into those areas, subject to the right property becoming available.”
As well as providing funding for the purchase and build of the Thornton restaurant, Yorkshire Bank has been Seniors’ banking partner since 2006.
Kevin Hughes, managing partner at Yorkshire Bank’s Preston Financial Solutions Centre, said: “Seniors is a great family business success story and Alastair and his family have shown real commercial acumen to turn a traditional chippy into a thriving fish and chip restaurant business with three sites on the Fylde Coast. The business has a clear strategy for further financial growth and we look forward to an opportunity to support Seniors as it looks to expand into new locations in the region.”
Alastair got into the restaurant business when his father Richard, an experienced fish merchant, bought Seniors fish and chip shop in Normoss, Blackpool in 2000.
The family quickly undertook a massive revamp of the restaurant, changing the menu, selling 100 per cent sustainable fish sourced locally and from all over the world, local potatoes and well-trained staff.
Alastair added: “Our commitment to using local and sustainable suppliers has been a key factor in our success. All our cod, haddock and hake is Marine Stewardship Council approved, we get our potatoes, pies and sausages from just down the road too.”