Local Chippy; Under New Management

In Cape Town and seeking a warming late lunch, I wanted to avoid the storm. Irritatingly arriving just in time for my walk to the Green Point stadium for the Spain-Portugal last 16 showdown, I couldn’t face wandering far through the horizontal rain. In Sea Point I came across the Fish Cafe.

Feeling contemporary and clean, I thought why not? At R25, their hake and chips special felt great both in value and as the way of keeping out the cold, just as if back in England on a Winter’s day.

Having recently taken over from the previous owner, engineer-by-training John was wondering how to boost sales.

I admit I got excitedly animated as I riffed ideas to increase revenues. It’s amazing how a different perspective can re-invigorate. A mini-sales plan for new products emerged.

There was the menu. How can you move traditional fish ‘n chip fayre along? Do you go gourmet, like the Kiwi burger route? How about unusual, mixed offerings, akin to the London tapas scene the Spaniards are trendily re-shaping? John already knew that thinking up options to make him different was a key idea, so I told him the re-assuring tale of London’s delicious Borough Market doorstop-sandwich fish fingers.

Then there’s price points. What do people typically pay for lunch? What can be packaged together for that amount?

There was potential further renovations (to allow greater visibility of what they offer and sexy on-the-go seating) that John had also mulled over before.

And what about promotion? How is he fish-friendly? Can he drum home a sustainable sea approach?

Think of an offer. Even if it’s only “R5 off!” vouchers. Walk up and down the high street between 10 and 11 every day for a week. Approach every girl and ask what they normally have for lunch. Do they like fish? Fancy a change from muffins? Think of different approaches and practice with his wife. I guaranteed out of 100 women he spoke to, only one might be rude. And if they liked his food, tell their friends, if they don’t just tell him.

I could have planned all day. And tomorrow we conquer the world. Well, Sea Point at any rate. I’ll keep a look out for his progress and hope John does well. How many a sales territory could do with a similar snappy ideas injection?

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