Pink Fish: Fast, casual seafood on the go
Text: Alyssa Nilsen | Photos: Pink Fish
I n a day and age when people’s lives are getting busier and eating food on the go is becoming increasingly popular, quality fast-food options still leave a lot to be desired. Norwegian, fast, casual seafood chain Pink Fish aims to change this, with its growing chain of salmon-based fast food.
The idea behind the restaurant chain Pink Fish was conceived when chef Geir Skeie, 2009 winner of biennial world chef championship Bocuse d’Or, realised that the fast-food market lacked something essential: the opportunity to buy quality seafood in a casual fast-food setting. In a market dominated by cheap pizza and burger chains, Skeie, along with Ronny Gjøse and Svein Sandvik, found room for a brand-new concept: simple, accessible and affordable meals based on, and built around, Norwegian salmon. In 2017, the first restaurant opened in Oslo, and Pink Fish was born.
“We want Norwegian salmon to be the hero of our concept,” partner and CEO Ronny Gjøse says of the seafood product, “so we’ve worked closely with the Norwegian Seafood Council, our seafood supplier Lerøy, and others, to gain as much knowledge as possible.” He explains that even though Norwegian salmon is immensely common and popular in Norway, it is even more so in the rest of the world, making it an easy product to get hold of and work with everywhere. Aiming to make the brand a big, international chain within ten years, Pink Fish currently holds five restaurants in Norway and one in Singapore, with one more in the pipeline, and a New York-based restaurant is on the horizon.
With the motto ‘Good Food Fast’, the trio has developed a seamless purchasing experience; their website and app let customers pre-order meals to be picked up at their convenience, saving time normally spent queueing for food. All meals are delivered within five minutes, making the restaurants perfect for stopping by on the way home from work, for a quick meal before events or as a pit-stop during the day. The restaurants themselves have a strong and unique Nordic design, allowing them to stand out in their surroundings, all tables are equipped with power and USB-outlets, and there’s free Wi-fi.
Norwegian salmon, international flavours
The menu is divided into five main categories: burgers, wraps and salads, soups, raw/pokébowls, and other seasonal dishes. Each of the categories has meals inspired by Europe, America and Asia. “The dishes contain flavours from the chosen continent,” Gjøse explains. “If you choose the Asian soup, you’ll get a yellow curry, whereas the American soup is a chilli bowl. The Asian burger is inspired by Vietnam or Korea, whereas the Asian wrap is inspired by India. We want to show our customers the diversity of the world through our menu, and make it easy for people to eat good salmon and seafood with a multitude of different flavours in a simple format.”
Gjøse continues: “A salmon burger at Pink Fish is made from 100 per cent salmon, coarsely chopped with only salt added for flavour. It’s completely different from traditional Norwegian fish cakes – this is a proper burger and our top-selling category along with the raw pokébowls.”
Health and environmental sustainability are quiet aspects of Pink Fish, not used as part of their profile or for marketing purposes – it’s simply how the restaurants are run. All their meals are served in single-use packaging, meaning plastic was just not an option. In the early days, however, there was almost no such thing as compostable or degradable packaging, resulting in the company itself choosing to design everything they needed from scratch for that very purpose.
And the food is eco-friendly and sustainable, too. Fish is one of the few proteins we currently harvest from the ocean, and there is enormous untapped potential considering seafood is even more sustainable than eating plant-based food. “70 per cent of the world is covered in ocean,” Gjøse says, “and yet only five per cent of the proteins we eat come from the sea.”
Still, the number-one goal for Pink Fish is to make good seafood accessible to people who might not normally choose fish when out and about. So far, it has proven a success. Earlier this year, they won the Most Innovative F&B concept 2019 award at the Global RLI Awards 2019 in Hollywood.
You can find the restaurants in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Singapore at Jewel Changi.
Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.
Pink Fish proposition: ‘We want our customers to enjoy delicious food, and leave feeling happy, positive, nourished, refreshed and satisfied.’
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