The fish and chip shops with mega dreams
A small fish and chip business based in Queenstown and Wanaka is on a mission to be the best in New Zealand. Erik’s Fish and Chips opened less than four years ago after spotting a gap in the market for the classic takeaway treat that’s right up there with lamingtons and hokey pokey ice cream, […]
A small fish and chip business based in Queenstown and Wanaka is on a mission to be the best in New Zealand.
Erik’s Fish and Chips opened less than four years ago after spotting a gap in the market for the classic takeaway treat that’s right up there with lamingtons and hokey pokey ice cream, as a ‘must eat’ for visitors and locals.
But unlike the greasy corner dairy takeaways of days gone by, Erik’s is focused on offering ‘great food with a twist’ backed up by business systems and marketing nous that’s seen it win multiple awards.
Within the past year it won a local Westpac Business of the Year Award, up against stiff competition from Queenstown businesses.
It also reeled in two hospitality awards for Excellence in Marketing and the Peoples Choice Award – the first chippy in New Zealand to ever win either award, and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
All this while operating from trailers in fixed locations close to Queenstown and Wanaka’s stunning alpine lakes.
Despite the many challenges facing the country’s small and medium businesses, co-owner Anna Arndt (pictured centre) says a huge part of the company’s success comes down to constantly striving to make things better with its Continuous Improvement Philosophy business model.
“We work as a team to constantly improve how we do things to better the customer experience and ensure we’re as efficient as possible,” she says. “We meet with staff weekly and have regular team meetings where we encourage and value contributions on how we can run the business more effectively.”
On top of this, staff rosters work around the ‘Queenstown lifestyle’, with skiing at the top of the priority list coming into winter, alongside a bonus system where trips such as overnight Doubtful Sounds cruises are a heartfelt reward after a hard season of work.
Based in such visitor-magnet and yet transient worker locations, Erik’s has the power to tap into the tourism sector with both staff and customers.
Among many small and medium size businesses, grumpiness is on the rise at compliance obligations, with some pessimism about revenue outlooks. But tourism is notably a conspicuous bright light in amongst all the doom and gloom, with Erik’s no exception.
A recent MYOB survey showed 45 percent of tourism operators believe they’re going to be making more money in the next 12 months compared to less than a third across the small business sector as a whole.
Many tourism businesses are expecting to hire more workers and, in a sector struggling with perceptions of low pay, a third expect to increase wages.
This rings true for Erik’s as it now employs 10 full time staff many of whom are employees who have risen through the ranks to become mid or senior level managers, or returning seasonal workers.
Knowing your market is essential in a fast-food environment where there’s plenty of competition for the visitor dollar, so Anna has intentionally tapped into the Australian market, especially over winter.
She took note of how many of our cousins from the across the ditch were hungry for Erik’s specialised food offerings, so changed her menus accordingly.
“Because we couldn’t buy springs rolls that fitted our criteria, including gluten-free, Halal, vegan and tasty, we made our own. Our market research shows that Australians especially love these alongside their favourite Potato Cakes.”
Erik’s is far above being your average chippy.
The company has created a unique and vibrant brand to stand out from the competition, creating and executing its own marketing strategy around genuine points of difference.