Frying tonight in Laurieston ... 240 portions of chips in just seven minutes

Benny Ts' Kirsty Mitchell dishes up some chips from the massive new range
Benny Ts' Kirsty Mitchell dishes up some chips from the massive new range

A local chip shop is fired up about its massive new custom-built fryer... a historic piece of cooking equipment if ever there was one.

Benny T’s fish and chip restaurant in Mary Street, Laurieston, is really excited about its new addition – a nine-metre long, eight-pan monster which can fry up 240 portions of chips every seven minutes – but not half as much as the firm that made it.

Cardiff-based Preston & Thomas secured the £100,000 contract to create the largest island range in its 100-year history.

Sales director Simon Preston said: “For a traditional company like us to win a deal like this is a real feather in our cap. We have been quite quiet lately, as everybody has, so this was a big boost.

“Scotland is one of our key markets and this is a huge piece of equipment – bigger than anything we have done before. It took up most of our factory.”

Now Benny T’s, and its customers, will benefit from the firm’s hard work for years to come, according to director Mark Mulholland and wife Dominique.

Mark said: “We had the old range for eight years and the time was right to replace it. We decided to go for Preston & Thomas because they understand what the British market is looking for and they custom built this for us.

“We regard the frying range as the engine room of the business, so we had to make sure it not only boasts the latest technology, but can also take the pace of the business. After being open for eight years, we know what works and what doesn’t.”

The building process took months of careful planning and involved a lot of travelling between Falkirk and Cardiff – vital visits to ensure the new range met the specific criteria.

“Seeing it installed now, it’s definitely bigger than our old one,” Mark said.

Mark and Dominique had to close the business for three days to allow the old range to be removed and the new one to be installed.

“It’s a very exciting time for us,” said Dominique. “We have a very loyal customer base and it’s good for them to see we are moving forward like this. We refurbished the restaurant last year and now we are delighted with this new range.

“We did tell customers we were closing for the three days, but we still had a few trying to get their fish and chips - despite the fact we didn’t even have a front counter over the period, because we also decided to replace that at the same time.”

Benny T’s kindly allowed Falkirk Herald staff to sample some of the first batch of chips fried in the new range and everyone who had a taste agreed they were as close to peeled potato perfection as you could get!