‘We don’t want to make staff redundant, they are family’: Whitley Bay chippy on rise in oil prices

The much-loved Whitley Bay chippy is facing a new sucker punch in bill increases

The Harbour View has served Whitley Bay locals for over 30 years, but times keep getting tougher for the family-run business.

The hike in bill prices made energy costs tough to stomach and a 115% rise in fish prices added insult to injury.

Now, as a further result of the international crisis in Ukraine, cooking oil costs are the latest to shoot up.

The Habour View manager Waseem Mir, who has overseen his family's business for seven years, said: "It's a massive impact. Oil has increased in price by 32% and it's also limited the amount of sunflower oil we can buy.

"When you include the prices of everything going up, not just the oil, it's a massive effect.

"We can't buy a lot of it. Suppliers have limited the amount you can buy.

There’s competition for oil supplies

"The issue with that is the sunflower oil that's in stock, I can have a dramatic price increase from one week to the following, and it's really hard to cope with that."

Waseem explains that the shop is now paying double the price for fish than it was before, and has also accepted wage increases, gas increases and electric increases.

The lack of oil supplies is an issue of its own too.

He said: "Our oil is sourced from France rather than the Ukraine but the issue is it's putting strain on the French supply which is making the prices increase.

"Ours are up by 32% to what they were before the war.

"We've had no choice but to increase prices for customers.

The Harbour View is a longstanding fixture in Whitley Bay

"It's reaching a point where locals who would come in almost daily, we aren't seeing for a week or 10 days.

"They can't afford to eat something as simple and stable as fish and chips."

Waseem hopes that bigger and more well-established fish and chip shops like The Harbour View will be able to weather the tricky storm, but fears the smaller retailers won't.

He added: "It's difficult, some of my staff have been here 20 or 25 years. the last thing I want to do is make someone redundant because we aren't getting the customers we were beforehand.

"These people are like family to us and we don't want to reach the point where we have to make people redundant to save the business."