Alaz Turkish Cuisine in Sudbury overwhelmed by community support after launching takeaway service following coronavirus lockdown
A Sudbury restaurant has been overwhelmed by the influx of support for its new takeaway offerings, stating it intends to maintain the service even after the public lockdown has ended.
Alaz Turkish Cuisine began providing food deliveries and collections last month, following a six-week period of closure from late March, as the hospitality industry nationwide felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
During this time, the business received a £10,000 support grant, but with no other source of income, the owners decided to reboot by launching takeaways on May 12 – and they have been consistently inundated with orders since then.
Sue Miller, who opened the restaurant in Church Street with her husband Cengiz Tezel, said they miss the face-to-face interactions with their customers, but are delighted with the community’s response to the service, which has enabled them to retain all of their staff.
“We were doing really well before the lockdown,” Sue told the Free Press. “We were always completely full on Friday and Saturday, and had a really lovely atmosphere.
“When we had to shut, obviously, it was a big shock because that was our income. We still have to pay the bills and we have members of staff that need income.
“We miss the social contact because we have such a good relationship with our customers, and now it’s very impersonal. But we’re adjusting and we’ve been very busy.
“Obviously, it’s very different being a takeaway business, but the response has been amazing. At the weekends, we couldn’t be any busier.
“It’s non-stop phone calls and orders, and we’ve had people say they can’t wait until they can go back to the restaurant.”
Sue said they are now considering how the business will operate going forward, with plans to run the restaurant and takeaway service side by side, and they hope to re-open as early as next month, subject to Government guidance.
She added: “I can’t imagine how it will be in the future, because we’ve never been in this situation.
“We’re generally optimistic. The income from the restaurant side is probably going to be halved, but hopefully, the takeaway side will make up for that.”
To get in touch with Alaz Turkish Cusine, call 01787 370001 or go online to www.alazrestaurant.co.uk.
More by this authorThomas Malina
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