It has been two weeks since his Coventry chip shop became a TikTok sensation drawing in crowds from around the country, and 70-year-old Kamal Gandhi is exhausted.
He has had to take on and train four new staff members, ensure a continuous supply of stock to deal with hundreds of new customers and help manage the long queues snaking down the road outside the now world famous Binley Mega Chippy.
“We’re really grateful, it’s a gift from God really,” said Gandhi, who is still bewildered as to how his shop achieved such fame having never used social media to promote it.
The crowds became so big that West Midlands police said earlier this week that it would deploy officers to the area to ensure people were parking safely, keeping noise down and using litter bins.
A number of big brands also got involved on social media. Iceland created a mock bag of Binley Mega Chippy Chips and Avanti West Coast added the shop’s sign to its route map.
The queues had died down substantially by the weekend, but there was still a continuous stream of cars pulling up to order food. “Even now, all these customers, I’ve never seen them before, they’re all new,” Gandhi said.
Droves of people have been travelling from across the country – and some from around the world – to visit the chippy after someone turned the shop’s name into a catchy song that went viral on TikTok, racking up hundreds of thousands of views.
Gandhi said sales had gone through the roof and staff had been working around the clock to reduce queue times, which at their peak were two hours long.
Eleven-year-old Oscar asked his parents if they could visit the chippy on a day out to Coventry from Leicester on Friday so he could get a photo in front of the shop’s now world-famous red and yellow frontage to show his sister and friends.
“He logged on to TikTok and started playing the song as we were walking in,” said his mother, Emma. “Him and his sister won’t stop singing it.”
According to Oscar, the chippy is still going strong on the video platform as the trend enters its third week. “When you scroll down, everything is just Binley Mega Chippy,” he said.
His parents were baffled when he asked if they could visit the chip shop. “I just don’t get it, why is it such a big thing?” his mum said.
“It does just seem like an average chippy,” said his dad. “I think another week of this and it will die down surely.”
Some of the most dedicated fans have included two teenagers who decided to camp in the chip shop car park overnight to beat the morning queues and gain social media kudos. Two tourists from Sydney made a two-hour detour from London to visit.
“I am trying to find the words to explain it to people back home as well, but it is really tough. It is the funniest thing on Earth to me at the moment. I have just done it for a laugh,” Anthony Gay, 23, told CoventryLive.
“We’re just an ordinary fish and chip shop,” Gandhi said. “All I want is to keep my customers happy no matter where they’ve come from.”