How To: Hold a Fish and Chip Evening

Our simple and straightforward ‘How To’ series with Robyn Taylor continues with ideas and top tips for running regular fish and chip supper evenings.


  1. Liaise with your kitchen department about making deep-fat-fried fish and chips and mushy peas. It may be relevant to ask the kitchen to make a few other alternatives in case some people do not want fish. Other ideas to keep it relevant are: pies, chicken nuggets, sausages, cheese, and gravy.
  2. Make posters and advertise the event around the home, in your newsletter and send out emails to relatives. Print off extra posters and deliver them to residents’ bedrooms. Getting the residents to help prepare this event will give them a purpose and make them feel excited about the experience.
  3. In advance of the fish and chip evening, spend time with the residents making cones from newspaper and greaseproof paper, ready to put the chips in on the night.
  4. Ask the residents to wash and peel a few potatoes.
  5. Plan a trip with a couple of residents into town to buy salt and vinegar, and any other sauces.
  6. Make fishy placemats instead of using the everyday ones the home provides. Print off some images of fresh fish, fish and chip shops, or the sea, and laminate them.
  7. Make bunting to go above the buffet counter or above the door where the event is held.
  8. On the day, move the dining area around to fit in a large buffet table and space for the residents to come up and get their own food. Ensure there is enough room for people in wheelchairs to be able to access the fish and chip counter.
  9. Have your plates and chip cones at one end, followed by a selection of food and then sauces, cutlery and napkins.
  10. Teamwork! Designate someone to serve (at each part of the buffet table), and someone to assist people coming up to the fish and chip counter.
  11. Be flexible – you know your home and residents! You can do this on a smaller scale over a week if you feel that with many residents it may be too busy and cause confusion.


  • Dress up as a fish – this will make a good talking point!
  • Or if you are going with a classy evening, then dress in a shirt and trousers and look professional.
  • Ensure you have a selection of sauces – tomato sauce, mayonnaise, salad cream, tartar sauce, gravy etc.
  • Do your research on residents’ favourite sauces and bring this up as a discussion starter in your activities. Also, how they like their chips cooked, if they prefer cod or haddock, etc.
  • Always take photographs.

Alternatively: Why not arrange this in the garden on a sunny evening or at lunchtime?