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Fishtaverns - Upgrading product and service quality in local seafood restaurants

The “Fishtaverns” project aims to raise the quality standards of local seafood restaurants – their products and hosting capabilities – notably by improving the use of fresh fisheries products and applying attractive communication tools.

This CLLD example is also available in:


During the public consultation carried out in preparation for the Larnaca and Famagusta FLAG local development strategy, local catering industry entrepreneurs, tourism operators and consumers expressed the need to improve services provided by local seafood restaurants in order to increase customer satisfaction and, ultimately, income for the area. To achieve this, a collective effort was needed in order to adopt common standards of quality, communicate coherently on the freshness of products and raise the overall level of services provided. 

On this basis, the FLAG developed the “Fishtavern” project. As a first step, a market study was launched in 2014 to set a new quality standard for the seafood restaurants. Through interviews with restaurant owners and a questionnaire directed at consumers, local authorities, travel agents, fishermen, and other local stakeholders, the study was able to identify the specific expectations of each audience. Areas of improvement included, for example, the diversity or quality of the seafood served as well as the display areas of the seafood, including information provided on the products and the languages presented.

As a second step, a call was issued by the FLAG to receive proposals regarding “quality upgrade” in local fish restaurants on the basis of common standards and other recommendations identified by the study.

The FLAG organised meetings and information sessions to support applicants of the call and, as a result, 15 seafood restaurants of the Larnaca and Famagusta districts coastlines developed requests for support to improve their quality standards. Based on the quality of their upgrading proposals, 12 establishments were selected by the FLAG to receive support and proceed with investments.

  • Results: 
    - No. of Jobs created: 6
    - No. of Jobs maintained: 36
    - Observed increase on the consumers demand for fresh fisheries products
    - Additional revenue generated: estimated at 10%

    Following these positive results, the FLAG will support the creation of a “Local Quality Agreement” for the area’s fish restaurants during the current programming period (2014-2020). The Agreement will include improved quality standards, specific requirements (emphasizing the sourcing of local fisheries products) and a marketing plan.

  • Transferability: Around the EU coastline, seafood restaurants are key income generators for fishing communities. The restaurants, however, often struggle with quality standards, customer expectations and a very competitive local environment. This project highlights a successful example of a collectively-led quality improvement and promotional campaign.

  • Lessons: Determining factors in the success of this project include the development of the project on the basis of clearly identified needs established by a public consultation (involving a broad stakeholder spectrum that included fishermen).

  • Contribution to CLLD objective: (a) adding value, creating jobs, attracting young people and promoting innovation at all stages of the supply chain of fisheries and aquaculture products; (b) supporting diversification inside or outside commercial fisheries, lifelong learning and job creation in fisheries and aquaculture areas; (d) promoting social well-being and cultural heritage in fisheries and aquaculture areas, including fisheries, aquaculture and maritime cultural heritage.


Total project cost and funding

Phase 1 (Market study):

Total cost:€50 000 
FLAG grant:€50 000 
 - EMFF contribution (EFF Axis 4): €25 000 
 - Other public contribution:  €25 000  

Phase 2 (Restaurant upgrades) :

Total project cost:€719 346.54 
(a) FLAG grant:€259 691.89 (36% of total project cost)
  - EMFF contribution:€129 845 
  - Other public contribution:€129 845 
(b) Beneficiary contribution: €459 654.65 (64% of total project cost)
- Each restaurant contributed a certain amount depending on the extent of the upgrade needed for a total of: €459 654.65 

Beneficiary     FLAG details
12 Fish Restaurants in five places:  Larnaca & Famagusta Districts Development Agency LTD, Cyprus
(1) In Paralimni: Kalamies, Karas, Spartiatis E-mail: mpapamichael (at)
(2) In Agia Napa: Vasos, Isaak  Tel.: +357 24 815280
(3) In Liopetri: Potamos Website
(4) In Larnaca: Psarolimano, Zephyros, Dionysos, Monte Carlo  
(5) In Zygi: Captain’s Table, Koumparis   
FLAG Factsheet  

Project information

  • Official project title in Member State language: Σχέδιο Χορηγιών για Εκσυγχρονισμό των Κέντρων Εστίασης και Αναψυχής (Ψαροταβέρνες)
  • Official project title in translated into EN: Scheme of Co-finance for Upgrading the Quality in Fish Restaurants
  • Implementation duration: 15/05/2014 - 31/03/2015
  • Case study date: July 2016

Key words: fish tavern/restaurant, seafood quality, fresh fisheries products