A new Turkish restaurant has served up 10 new jobs after opening at a Wrexham shopping centre – with the possibility of another eight on the way.
The taste of exotic cuisine from the country where East meets West is now on offer at Eagles Meadow at the Turquoise Kitchen & Bar.
The entrepreneur behind the venture says there could eventually be another five to eight people joining the team with the emphasis being on more local recruitment.
Instanbul-born Cevdet Mutlu said: “As the restaurant becomes established the aim is to have a total staff of 15 to 18 and taking on people from the area will be a priority for us.”
Cevdet brings to the new eatery over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of the business.
Already the owner of a string of five successful Turkish restaurants in the Midlands and South of England, 47-year-old Cevdet is also a Gordon Ramsay-style “turn-around” expert who gives advice to the owners of other restaurants, cafes and bars on how to improve their businesses – without the swearing, he quickly points out!
He said: “Our new restaurant at Eagles Meadow covers 52,000 square feet and is of the traditional sort where a waiter takes your order and your food is then served at your table.
“There is plenty of space, so we have places for 220 diners and there is also an open-plan kitchen where customers can watch their meals being prepared.
“We offered full training to all the new staff because while someone might have worked in a restaurant before it’s probably not been a Turkish one and they’ll need to familiarise themselves with the way the restaurant works and the food we serve so they can properly advise customers on the menu.”
Cevdet, who came over from Turkey in 1974, got an early taste of the restaurant business when he worked alongside his father in the two he owned in the West End of London.
“I started helping out from the age of 13 and developed a real passion for it. When I left school I went straight into the business properly,” he said.
“I then developed my own business and now have Turkish restaurants in Hertford, Hitchen and Woking in the South of England and also at Peterborough and West Bromwich in the Midlands, which are all doing well.
“I’m also a specialist in restaurant projects and refurbishment and act as a consultant for people running places in need of improvement.”
He added: “The refurbishment of the premises at Eagles Meadow to create Turquoise Kitchen & Bar went very well and everyone who has been in is very pleased with the way it looks.
“Eagles Meadow is a good place for us to be. It’s a vibrant centre with good footfall and already has a number of other big-name restaurants like Pizza Express and Frankie & Benny’s.
“Another important factor is that it also has good, cheap parking close at hand.
“We’re delighted to have opened in time for the run-up to the festive season when we’re hoping to be busy with lots of Christmas parties.
“Turkish food is becoming increasingly popular these days. Lots of people associate it with kebabs but our new restaurant offers much more than that.
“We have an extensive menu of 70 items featuring hot and cold meze, fish dishes, meats like chicken and lamb prepared on traditional Turkish grill, along with Turkish-style kebabs and pizzas. There will also be a steaks and a range of salads and we’ll have a fully stocked bar.
“We’ll be encouraging people from the area to try Turkish cuisine, maybe for the first time, so I think the restaurant can be a big success for us.”
Eagles Meadow Centre Manager Kevin Critchley said: “We’re delighted to welcome the new Turkish Kitchen & Bar to the shopping centre which has certainly added to the already extensive variety and diversity of the restaurants we have here.
“It’s also very good to see that it has a good proportion of local people on the staff with the promise of more to come later.”