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Alaturka - Turkish Success, On A Plate

2nd April 2015 By Natalie Chaplin in Case Studies

Ipswich isn't the first place that comes to most people's mind when thinking about dining out at a Turkish Restaurant. But Ipswich is where you will find Alaturka, an award winning Turkish Restaurant, managed by Semra Avcikaya.

In 2014 they won the title of Ipswich Independent Business of the Year, awarded by Ipswich Central, the BID management organisation for Ipswich town centre. And recently Alaturka achieved the Trading for Good Responsible Business Award 2014. As Regional Ambassador for the East of England, I went along to meet up with Semra, to learn more about the secrets to her success.

I started off by asking Semra to tell me a bit about herself and about Alaturka.

Alaturka is a traditional, authentic Turkish Restaurant. Personally, I have been in the business since I was 12, started as a kitchen porter at my father’s restaurant. I studied Business at university and have an MBA degree. I love working in the Hospitality Industry as it gives me great opportunity to share my ambition in this field with my guests. I love coastal towns and Ipswich has offered me everything I could ever need in a town. We are still growing and excited about new projects happening in Ipswich. 

What makes Alaturka different from other Turkish restaurants? 

A lot of restaurants including the Turkish Restaurants that I have dined at, are focusing on the food quality and quantity and somehow overlook the importance of the Hospitality. There are so many different and nice cuisines around the world, and proudly I can say the Turkish Cuisine is one of the finest. However, the real Turkish Hospitality is second to none and we should put this forward. In my view, Alaturka not only serves great food but it serves it with outstanding customer service, which is really appreciated by all of our customers. What Alaturka offers is a package full of great food, hospitality, entertainment and culture. 


What do you enjoy most about your job?

At the end of every evening, I see my diners off to their home at the door and seeing the contentment they had at my place gives me a great pleasure. 

What does it mean to you to be socially responsible? How does this reflect within the work of Alaturka?

I grew up in a culture where everything is shared. I also learnt in life that the more you give the more you get. And giving makes me happy. I think everyone who knows me even a little would confidently say the same. As a business, I can’t think of any other way than giving some of what you earn. At Alaturka, we have a Charity Policy that supports both local and national charities through donations of our restaurant vouchers. These donations are utilised for fundraising activities and charity events. In 2014, we helped fundraisers to raise more than £12,000. 

Last year Alaturka won the Independent Business of the Year - tell us more, and what this meant to you and your team (and your customers) to win this award

There is no word to describe the feeling. I remember, I was in tears when the news was delivered. My team has always supported me and we have been working together for a long time to make sure that what we do is the best we can do. After the award, we felt more confident, happy but most of all, we felt more responsible than ever. My customers were probably as happy and proud as I was. 

Why did you join Trading for Good?

It is thanks to you, Natalie, who opened the doors for us to this great organization. As in almost everything we do, we would like to share it with our customers, friends and the society we live in. Trading for Good is an independent, unbiased platform and will give the overall picture to everyone who wants to know about what’s happening at your local. Isn’t this great!

What would you say to other business owners thinking about joining Trading for Good? 

They should stop thinking about it and start registering. I urge all the businesses small/medium/large to join Trading for Good, to shout about what they are doing for the communities and encourage others to do the same. 

So, think again about visiting Ipswich, and choose Alaturka. A socially responsible, ethical and charitable Turkish Restauarant, serving up more than just great Turkish cuisine.

Natalie Chaplin
About the Author

Natalie Chaplin

Natalie is a skilled business professional with more than 20 years experience of working as a manager and leader across a number of industries, within both the private and public sector.

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