About The Wetherby Whaler
The Wetherby Whaler is a family owned chain of fish and chip restaurants and takeaways. The business was founded by Phillip and Janine Murphy in Tadcaster in 1969. Originally a traditional fish and chip takeaway serving the local community, it was here that we learnt our trade and developed our skills and knowledge that enabled us to prosper. It was this original experience that enabled us to focus on two guided principles that developed to become the foundation for the ‘whaler experience’. These principles are always using quality haddock without skin and bone, cooked in the crispiest batter with Maris Piper potatoes, and warm friendly service with a smile.
In 1989 the opportunity arose to purchase our first Wetherby Whaler in Wetherby. Our first Whaler had a takeaway with a small café on the first floor, and the café represented an opportunity to develop our ambitions to provide a full service restaurant business. Special attention was paid to the décor and ambience of the restaurant and based on our guided principles we were able to develop the restaurant into a location where customers made Wetherby Whaler their destination of choice, as well as a casual drop in venue.
The success of Wetherby enabled us to expand quickly and in 1990 we purchased Cravens of Pudsey. After a refurbishment in the style of Wetherby we rebranded the business 'The Wetherby Whaler-Pudsey'. Although much larger than the first Whaler, Pudsey demonstrated that our guided principles were equally valid at a larger-scale restaurant.
In 1996 we purchased a Greenfield site alongside the ring road in York. We built the new Wetherby Whaler-York designed and built to our exact specification. It was an inspired choice that established new standards for us to apply elsewhere in our business to create the Whaler Experience.
In 2001 our second Greenfield site development in Wakefield was built. The Wetherby Whaler-Wakefield was another whaler that delivered the recognised brand with the all important Whaler Experience.
In 2012 we acquired the original premises of Harry Ramsden- regarded by many as the ‘spiritual home of fish and chips’ in Yorkshire. After a major refurbishment in the style of the whaler, we opened the ‘Wetherby whaler-Guiseley’ with much media interest attracted by the concept of a phoenix rising from the ashes of harry Ramsdens to deliver the ‘whaler experience’ to its former and new customers.
We now employ 220 full and part time staff at our 5 branches serving about 750,000 portions of haddock in our restaurant and takeaways per year.
Throughout our growth and expansion we have remained a family business, and our two daughters are now an integral part of the day to day running of our organisation ensuring that the future is in good hands. Joanne and Caroline continue the proud traditions and principles of the Wetherby Whaler Experience, with a loyal team of management and employees who are equally dedicated to delivering the finest value fish and chips in Yorkshire.