Chip shop case study is a winner

A SUFFOLK student who took a part-time job in a fish and chip shop ended up offering his boss advice on how to run it better.

For Matt Watts, 17, the job was just a way of earning some money but his experience of a real-life business proved useful when he took part in a competition focusing on small businesses.

The Suffolk branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) ran an Enterprise Day contest in schools and colleges across the county.

Branch vice-chairman Dave Baker said: “We wanted to help young people to understand the importance of small businesses in the local community.

“The Enterprise Day competition was designed to build on what is already in their curriculum by getting them to appreciate how things work in a real business.”

Matt and three fellow students at the Mildenhall College of Technology formed a team to enter the contest and, because Matt worked at Snushall’s fish and chip shop in King Street, Mildenhall, in his spare time, they chose the shop as their case study.

They looked at the shop’s position in the local fast food market, the competition it faced from other outlets, and the way it marketed itself.

Most Read

In their winning presentation they suggested various ways in which they thought the business could be improved.

Team member Chris Jewell, also 17, said: “We thought the main problem was that they didn’t do any promotion except in the shop itself.

“It was a good project – I thought it was going to be boring but it wasn’t at all. I particularly enjoyed it when we all had to make the presentations,” he added.

Ashley Schrader, also 17, added that the team’s ideas included the design of a new logo for the business, which they thought would help to raise its profile with customers.

“We noticed that big orders were put into bags but there was nothing on the bag to advertise the shop,” she said.

Completing the team, whose study identified that the shop was especially popular with Americans from the nearby Mildenhall and Lakenheath air bases, was Craig Tilbrook, 18.

Gill Wilmshurst, a business studies teacher in the vocational department at Mildenhall College of Technology, said: “Entrepreneurial activities are so good for the students because it means they are doing more than just the theory.

“They have the opportunity to interact with people from the business world and they have to do some work on their own initiative.

“It was above and beyond what they would normally do as part of their course, so I felt it was very valuable for them.”