What made you join deep blue and become a part of the Harry Ramsden’s brand?
AH: I received a phone call about joining the brand out of the blue. Out of courtesy, I went to meet with David Ellison, the CEO. I came away from meeting him with this massive fire in my belly for Harry Ramsden’s. After spending a couple of hours with him, I came away thinking to myself, ‘Wow, I really want to work with these guys.’
What’s unique about the Harry Ramsden’s brand, and how has it survived and thrived for such a long time?
AH: Quality. It doesn’t try to be a jack of all trades, it’s a master of one. It’s the ultimate fish and chips experience and quintessentially British. Harry Ramsden’s is steeped in heritage, being one of the oldest and most well-known fish and chips brands.
The brand itself is meticulous on quality and checks on its products. I’m flabbergasted at the level of detail that the brand goes into to deliver an exceptional product. It’s unrivalled in this country and abroad.
What big things does Harry Ramsden’s have planned in 2022 that you are excited for?
AH: I’m looking forward to the rollout of the Mecca bingo partnership, ‘Proudly Serving Harry’s’ as well as linking up with Sainsbury’s this year to deliver over 100 Harry Ramsden’s sites in Sainsbury’s cafes.
Our partnership with Mecca Bingo and ‘Proudly Serving Harry Ramsden’s’ enables them to charge more money for the product because it’s better quality. I see the ‘Proudly Serving Harry’s’ model working in in in lots of pubs and restaurant chains, internationally, not just in the U.K.
At the end of the year, we will have an exciting and large-scale opening in Las Vegas with the Genting group. If I relate it to the flagship Bournemouth location, at its peak, it will do £230K a week in sales. We want to create big, marquee ‘flag in the sand’ sites all around the world.
We’ve also developed what we call ‘Harry’s Hut’, which is a small catering unit that can be delivered to campsites, theme parks, hotels and anywhere where people will gather.
Which international markets are you looking at for Harry Ramsden’s and how did you come to select them?
AH: Having previously worked for British-led brands, I know there is a demand for quintessentially British products in the Southeast Asian market.
We’d like to partner with somebody in the U.S. as well as the Emirati states. To me, they’re my three priorities this year. But ultimately, our products translate anywhere to any country. And we’re very open to offers with open-minded partners about how we can deliver these around the world.
Will you be adapting your menu or identity at all when in foreign markets to suit their tastes?
AH: We will always have a core range of Harry Ramsden’s product that is untouchable, even down to our batter mix. But we are adaptable to change. We are a brand that’s evolving. And we’ve just delivered a dark kitchen menu with a twist. The dark kitchen concepts can bolt on into our kitchens, adding something bigger and better to the sales opportunity.
At a Glance Harry Ramsden’s
Number of franchised outlets: 12
Location of units: 30+
Investment range: £100,000 – £500,000
Minimum required capital: £250,000
Contact: Andy Hulbert – email@example.com