Classic Kiwi fish and chips never went out of fashion, but new data shows one of the country’s most iconic dishes is more popular than ever.
Research from online food delivery platform Menulog reveals a 536 percent increase in orders of fish and chips on its platform in the last year.
There are a number of reasons for the increase, however a key driver is the rise in popularity of restaurants offering freshly caught fish and gourmet fish and chip options.
Junbin Weng, owner of Master Seafood in Christchurch, has seen a significant rise in demand in the last year and he is doing more orders than ever before.
He puts it down to people being more discerning and wanting better quality dishes as well as more variety.
“People want fish and chips no matter what time of the year, but they are demanding something more from the humble dish that takes it to the next level.
“That comes down to using fresh fish. We offer seven different types of fish for our fish and chips and it is all fresh.”
The Seafood Collective in Papamoa, which only uses fish caught the same day for dishes on its menu, has seen consistent demand for its fresh fish and chips since opening in September last year.
“Everything we serve is fresh and the fish we use comes from the market each morning. We would never use fish from the previous day,” says The Seafood Collective Manager, Sunny Baksh.
“We focus on giving our customers a delicious seafood experience and fresh fish is key to that. When people order fish and chips – it could be gurnard, tarakihi, snapper – it is taken straight from the seafood counter to the grill.”
Offering both delivery and dine-in has enabled The Seafood Collective to also grow its business since opening last year despite the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality sector.
“Everything on the menu is available for delivery or dine in so when the Omicron wave hit we were still able to be busy with takeaways on Menulog.
“Delivery opened us up to a whole group of new customers because it made us accessible to people and families who lived further away and wouldn’t normally order from us.
“This demand has continued with customers wanting quality fish and chips. We have had so much support from our loyal customers – we wouldn’t be here without them.”
To meet customer demand for a wider range of cuisines, restaurants such as The Seafood Collective is incorporating a contemporary spin on classic fish and chips by also offering bao buns, tacos, seafood platters, and ika mata (raw fish salad).
Orders of seafood dishes like fish tacos and seafood platters underwent a year on year increase of 252 percent .
The increase in fish and chip and seafood orders on Menulog also coincides with the launch of its delivery service early last year and the growth of restaurant partners on the platform. There are more than 3000 restaurants using Menulog for delivery and online ordering in 80 cities and towns around New Zealand.
Menulog Commercial Director Rory Murphy says Menulog is committed to helping restaurants grow order demand and provide greater choice for customers across the country.
“The increase in fish and chip and seafood orders on the platform is significant. It’s a great indicator of Kiwis not only continuing to support their favourite local restaurants, but the growing number of customers on the platform loving the delicious food available for delivery in their local community.”