Reflecting on 2018 and looking forward to 2019

For most people, January is all about new year’s resolutions, change, eliminating bad habits and accomplishing goals – and that applies to our business too. September 2018 marked 30 years since my family uprooted from Huddersfield in west Yorkshire and moved to rural Lincolnshire in search of a new life. In 1988 the Elite Fish & Chip Company came to life when my grandparents, David and Freda, set up the first restaurant and takeaway in the village of Ruskington near Sleaford. They were entirely unaware that it would go on to be an award-winning success, not only in Lincolnshire but also on a national scale.

2018 was such a momentous year for our family business; we pledged to raise a massive £30,000 across three charities to coincide with each year that we had been operating in Lincolnshire. Throughout the year, we got on board with several fundraising campaigns to help reach our target including a music evening and charity waxathon. As part of the celebrations we also launched a commemorative 30th anniversary beer for our customers to enjoy, aptly named ‘Ruslinford Ale’ by one of our loyal customers who came up with the idea by combining our restaurant locations, in the order they opened: Ruskington, Lincoln and Sleaford.

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As we embark on another year in business in the fish and chip trade, we’re hoping that this year will be just as successful as the last. In one sense it will be difficult to top 2018 because of how significant it was to our history, but this year has potential to be fruitful in other ways.

The new year is an opportune time for every business to set goals and at the Elite we certainly take the time to refocus after the busy Christmas period. In January we look at the year ahead and put measurements in place for what we’d like to achieve. We have to plan ahead and consider seasonal periods such as Valentine’s Day and Easter and how we can use these events to maximise our business success. We also tend to discuss what has been done in the previous year and as a family we talk about what worked particularly well and what didn’t so that we go into the new year in the strongest position possible. As always, our business focus is continuing to serve high-quality food, delivering exceptional customer service and supporting our local Lincolnshire community.

Following our successful 30th anniversary year, we’re kicking the new year off on a celebratory note as we’re the only business to be featured in The Book of Amazing People! We’re delighted to have made the final cut and have our own dedicated chapter in the prestigious book, which is a ground-breaking project showcasing individual achievement and featuring inspiring real-life stories. To have our name alongside successful individuals showcasing motivating stories of ordinary people that have made their lives truly extraordinary is a huge achievement for us.

In our 30-year history we’ve been lucky enough to experience many highs, but our success hasn’t come without challenges. Our chapter in the book tells the story from the very beginning to the present day and gives an insight into all the hard work, commitment and dedication that goes into running a successful business. It was quite emotional putting our chapter in the book together as it meant that we, as a family, were able to reflect and retrace the steps that helped us to get to where we are today. Although none of us knows what the future holds, one thing is for certain: we wouldn’t be where we are without the custom and support of our loyal customers. Here’s to 2019!

Rachel Tweedale, co-director of the Elite Fish & Chip Company

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