Seafront shops in for 'hard summer' due to costs crisis

Herbert Gray, owner of Fish Chips and More at Great Yarmouth.

Herbert Gray, owner of Fish, Chips and More at Great Yarmouth, said he remains positive that "things will change". - Credit: Denise Bradley

Seaside chippies are seeing customers ordering the cheaper half of the classic fish and chip combination in order to keep an eye on cash.

It comes as bosses of businesses on Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile warned that the cost of living crisis will hit trade hard this summer.

Rising prices across the board have led several businesses along the strip to fear trade will be down over the summer holiday period.

People on the beach

Some people were making the most of the heatwave on Great Yarmouth beach on Tuesday. - Credit: James Weeds

Herbert Gray, owner of Fish, Chips and More, said his business was busy for three weeks leading up to July but then it went quiet again.

"It will be a hard summer," he said.

"It costs so much even for local people. I can see it having a knock-on effect."

Mr Gray said he was having to close his takeaway earlier due to increased energy bills.

He said he also noticed people have been ordering less fish and opting for just a portion of chips instead.

Herbert Gray, owner of Fish Chips and More at Great Yarmouth.

Herbert Gray, owner of Fish, Chips and More at Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Denise Bradley

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"We are taking something," he said. "But at the end of the year when everyone has had their bits, we don't know what profit we'll have.

"People are watching what they spend and I can't blame them."

Mr Gray said it was unfair to compare this summer with the previous one, as last year was like "two seasons in one" due to the lifting of Covid restrictions.

However, he remains positive that "things will change".

Jeanette Emmerson at Lorenzo's Donuts and Ice Creams at Great Yarmouth.

Jeanette Emmerson at Lorenzo's Donuts and Ice Creams said she is hopeful for a good summer season, but it had started slow. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Jeanette Emmerson, from Lorenzo's Donuts and Ice Cream, said all she can do is hope for a good summer.

She said: "I've heard some families have spent over £1,000 just for fuel and accommodation.

"For a lot of people, it's just too expensive."

She said the doughnut shop will be opening later in the evenings to try to capitalise on people walking past.

The store also kept its prices low but with unpredictable oil costs, the shop might have to consider an alternative.

"I'm really hoping the six-week holiday will be good," she said.

"All we can do is hope."

It will be stunts galore at this year's Wheels Festival.

A business owner on Great Yarmouth seafront said more events like the Wheels Festival are needed to bring people to the area. - Credit: GYBC

Ms Emmerson said the Wheels Festival at the beginning of July was a good event for attracting more people to the area but she wants to see more things like that on the seafront.

By the jetty, Buddy's Cafe manager Ashley Mitchell said the past few weeks have been slow.

Ashley Mitchell, manager of Buddy's Cafe at Great Yarmouth.

Ashley Mitchell, manager of Buddy's Cafe at Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Denise Bradley

He added: "We've had a few good weekends but it has been slower overall.

"It seems everything has gone up except the footfall.

"We're hopeful for the summer. We've got to be, otherwise, I don't know who will be here next year.

Antonis Christophi, right, owner of the Barking Smack at Great Yarmouth, with chef Robyn Adams.

Antonis Christophi, right, owner of the Barking Smack at Great Yarmouth, with chef Robyn Adams. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Barking Smack landlord Antonis Christophi said his seasonal trade had been "good so far".

He explained: "Our drinks are up by 50p but we're still getting a lot of custom.

"And with nice hot weather and less people abroad because of prices and Covid fears, I think we are bound to have another good summer."

Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile. Seaside towns need to find creative ways to challenge deprivation acco

Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile. Seaside towns need to find creative ways to challenge deprivation according to a House of Lords report Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Two landau drivers - who man horse-drawn carriages on the seafront - and did not wish to be named, said trade has been down so far this season.

"It's not been good at all this year," one of them said.

"The trade's down as people have no money and it's getting worse as the weeks go on.

"You can see and hear people budgeting. People are bringing their own food and just heading to the beach."

The other driver said how their livelihood had been affected by the rising costs of hay and horse shoes.

They said: "You see people about but you don't see them with shopping bags or ice creams.

"People are not confident to spend and they're terrified about when the rates go up again in October."

Sommer Tayler, owner of Sunny Sommer's Beach Hire at Great Yarmouth.

Sommer Tayler, owner of Sunny Sommer's Beach Hire, said her deckchair business has had a good summer so far. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Sommer Taylor, owner of Sunny Sommer Beach Hire, said this year has already been better than the previous two for her deckchair business.

Ms Taylor said as her shed requires no electricity.

"With my business, you come, pay for the day and then that’s it," she said.