In the past I've been known to criticise supermarkets for their lack of service. They have blown away the small traders, the greengrocer, fishmonger and butcher, but have failed to replace them with any personality. A difficult task when operating such large units, I grant you. But the doctrine appears to be let the product sell itself'. That works for goods on the shelves usually through the power of advertising and then repeat business, but when it comes to meat, fish and delicatessen counters, it's all about communicating with the customer. Supermarkets need to remind themselves that because of the convenience factor, they build up a huge team of regular customers, in the very same way as a local corner shop might do, albeit in smaller quantities. The principles remain the same. There is no reason that, after a period of time, behind the counter staff should not get to know the customers' names and also their likes and dislikes. Impossible', I hear supermarkets cry. My answer is ­ why? They will possibly answer ­ because of the high turnover of staff. To which I reply, pay them more and give them target incentives. Anyway, the point of this commentary is that last week I visited Marr Foods in Hull to open its new training centre. The day was like a breath of fresh air; a company, that for a modest fee, is prepared to train supermarket counter staff on the ins and outs of selling fish. The course lasts two days and covers all aspects of the beauty of fish including filleting, sales techniques and recipes using fish. I'm pleased to say several supermarkets have already signed up for it (see page 9). Soon we should start seeing results! Remember, as far as fish is concerned, you have a willing audience. The public know it is healthy, they know they should eat more, all they need now is to know what to do with it. Over to you! {{NEWS }}