Dinky Takeaway Interview

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Mark Atkin took over Dinky Takeaway two years ago. Dinky is 60 years in business and was voted on 2FM “the best chips in Ireland” so keeping the great tradition going is “a big responsibility – in a good way”. Local fish from Kilmore Quay is hand-battered and burgers are 99 percent Irish beef.

Name? Name of Business? Mark Atkin, Dinky Takeaway, Courtown, Co. Wexford

When did you open? This place has been open nearly 60 years and it’s famous for the “best chips in Ireland” as voted on Marty Whelan’s morning show on 2FM. I took over from the original family that ran it just two summers ago. I have a lot of experience as a chef.

What are your opening hours? We’re open 12 noon till 11 pm every day.

How many staff do you employ? 4

What, in your opinion, makes your place unique to your customers? The chips are famous. Before taking over, I was brought in for a training session to make sure I get them just right – that was in the contract. We also hand-batter our fish and our beef burgers are 99 percent beef – our standards are very high.

What do you most like about the job? I like the intensity of it all and, dealing with customers.

What’s your busiest time? Courtown is a famous beach resort so summers are very busy.

What’s your customer base? We get a mix of everyone – tourists, family, teenagers…

What’s the biggest challenge facing you in business at the moment? The costs, the overheads, and the rates. Food costs keep going up, so do staff wages and rates. It can actually be hard to make a living, even though we’re so popular.

What is competition like in the area? There’s a bit of competition alright but not that bothers me.

Is there anything the government could be doing to make your life easier? They could cut taxes and rates. We’re paying too much to the Council.

If you could invite someone famous to dinner who would it be? Charlie Trotter, well he’s dead now, but he was an inspirational chef, from Chicago, great restaurants and he taught everyone.

What does it take to do your job successfully? Dedication, hard work, putting in the hours, and getting the balance of life right.

How do you manage the work-life balance? Not that well at the moment – it’s all work. But I take Mondays off and in the winter we can kick back a bit so the kids get more Dad time.

What’s your business motto? Treat the customer right – but remember the customer isn’t always right!



What’s your best-selling menu item? Fish. We get fresh cod and scampi locally from Kilmore Quay

What’s new on your menu? The chicken fillet burgers are flying out the door

How many meal deals do you do? A lot – about nine for the adults and six for the kids. The saving is 60-70c

What’s your most expensive item? Our fresh cod meal deal is €9.50

What’s unique to your menu? We make our own batter, and the care we take with the chips is pretty unique!

How do you promote new menu items? On the board outside and through Facebook, though I’m not that big a fan of it.

Are you doing anything to help grow the business? This winter we’ll have a big promotion because it’s coming up to the 60th anniversary of Dinky Takeaway


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