Stoke Newington’s Testi Restaurant goes for another kebab accolade
- Credit: Testi Restaurant
Stoke Newington’s family-run Testi restaurant has served its customers kebabs and classic Turkish dishes for the last 20 years. Its young owner explains why he thinks his family’s restaurant has thrived whilst so many fail.
Huseyin Uzum inherited the job of running Testi Restaurant from his dad, who's still active in the business, and says learning from the 'ground up' has given him the experience needed to be a successful restaurant owner.
Huseyin told the Gazette: "When I was really young, I used to work on the weekends after school just so I could learn the job. So that's why I'm in my mid- 20s and I've got my own restaurant and I can run it."
The restaurant won a British Kebab Award last year for the Best Kebab Restaurant in West and North London and is a finalist this year for Best Value Restaurant.
But Huseyin is always working to improve and innovate to attract new people to the restaurant despite the loyal customer base his family has built.
"It's not easy to have one business running for 20 years. A lot of restaurants fail - there's too much competition, there's restaurants left, right and centre," he said.
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According to research by UHY Hacker Young Chartered Accountants, more than 1,400 UK restaurants closed over the span of a year, starting in June 2018.
That year saw a 25% surge in the number of outlets falling into insolvency affecting big name operators and thousands of smaller restaurant businesses in what has been dubbed 'the casual dining crunch'.
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Meanwhile, Testi Restaurant has continued to attract new customers by being conscious of changing food trends.
"We love hackney cause you get different types of customers. There's a lot of vegetarians and vegans in the area and also a lot of people who love their meat and chicken. We were facing problems with couples coming in and one of them is a vegetarian and the other eats meat and they can't find a mid-point restaurant where they can go to and both have a really nice meal."
Huseyin says most Turkish home-made foods are naturally vegan anyway. " We just put more on our menu to make it stand out a little bit more," he said.
Voting ends on February 24.
To vote for Testi Restaurant as Best Value Restaurant in the British Kebab Awards click here