We asked Garry to tell us more about the ins and outs of running the business and what advice he has picked up along the way…
Who/what inspired you to set up The Scallop Shell?
I was lucky enough to work with Mitch Tonks when I was head chef at FishWorks, who immersed me in the world of seafood. He taught me so much about what’s available on our shores and since then I’ve been absolutely hooked on it!
How do your locations influence your business?
We’re based in Bath, a heritage city, which is a very popular destination for tourists. However, we decided to set up camp just outside the centre in a more residential area so that we could appeal to the residents of Bath too. I’ve lived here for over 40 years so this was very important to me.
What is your unique selling point? What makes your brand stand out in such a competitive market?
We’re delighted to offer so much choice. The range of seafood we serve is extensive – we usually cook around 12-14 different species of fish and shellfish every day.
How do you react to the changing marketplace?
We’re influenced by the seasons and the trends that are continually shaping the marketplace, because of this, our menu is always changing.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
“Never stand still”. Even when you’ve having a really hard time, the most important thing to remember is to keep moving – there are better times ahead!
What is the one piece of advice you would give to other chefs/entrepreneurs looking to succeed in the industry?
Always remember that you are only as good as your team. Be passionate and inspirational to your staff as they will reward you with energy and desire to be successful.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Everything – from getting stuck in in the kitchen to being in control of how it runs – I love every single part of running my business.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
I hope to open more restaurants, but I would still like to be very heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business, it is what I love and I don’t want that to change.
What’s your signature dish?
Fish and chips! We lightly batter our fish and serve with chips cut daily from the best and freshest seasonal spuds and serve with steaming mushy peas and tartar sauce.
When you get the chance, where do you enjoy eating out?
I like to visit really great farm shops where I can find high-quality produce. I also like to travel to Europe and visit inspirational markets and eat in fantastic restaurants.
What would be your dream meal?
Seafood stew with lots of fish, lobsters oysters and crab. For dessert, a hot chocolate pudding.
What are the three food items you’d take to a desert island…?
- Serrano ham
What’s the one piece of kitchen equipment you couldn’t live without?
My Krimco fryer range – it’s the engine within my kitchen. It’s amazing and makes me smile every time I look at it.