Hartlepool fish and chip restaurant boss says he won't be carrying on after cost increases

Some fish and chip shops in Hartlepool have been forced to close due to the pressures on the industry.

Monday, 20th June 2022, 9:10 am

Chunks Fish and Chips, in Tower Street, ran by husband and wife Michael and Sayward Lewis, closed recently after 15 months in business.

Michael said the April VAT hike from 12.5% to 20% was the final straw after months of cost increases and shrinking profits.

"Prices started getting silly,” he said. “Within months of raising our prices we were having to look at rising them again.

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Lee Pennick tenant off The Harbour View. Picture by FRANk REID

"We were taking the hit on a lot of the rises instead of passing them on.”

The couple now plan to relaunch in the same shop serving Mexican food under the name Ariba soon.

Meanwhile, Lee Pennick, who runs The Harbour View restaurant and takeaway, on Hartlepool Marina, says he will not be renewing his lease in August.

It follows big increases in the cost of ingredients linked to the war in Ukraine where much of the oil used for frying comes from.

Mr Pennick said: “Fish has doubled and oil has gone up £10 for a 20 litre bottle. The lease comes to an end in August and I’m not renewing it.

"It’s just the cost. It wasn’t just one or two items that increased.”

It remains to be seen if another tenant will continue the business.

Mr Pennick said the average family can now face paying between £40 to £50 for fish and chips.

The price of wheat used in flour has also gone up due to the situation in Ukraine.

Mr Pennick added: “It’s difficult for the industry. Places are ticking over but not enough.”

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