Turkey, a country famous for its cuisine and food culture, is going back to a nostalgic past, in a reversal of the stereotypical fast food that is usually consumed during lunch breaks.
Tradesmen's restaurants, one of the popular working people spots for lunch breaks with home cooking offerings, are presenting delicious varieties of Turkish cuisine to their customers. It is possible to come across them on nearly every street and corner and are pleasing to the eye and palate.
Tradesmen's restaurants have started to attract more attention than ever recently. Offering lots of variety to those who are keen on their food, consumers are giving it the thumbs up thanks to their convenient prices and high quality food.
Chairman of the Restaurateurs, Kebab Shops, Pastry Shops and Confectioners Federation of Turkey, Aykut Yenice, spoke to Anadolu Agency (AA) and stated that local foods are prepared better at restaurants.
Stressing that tradesmen's restaurants shine because of their food and presentation, Yenice stated that most of these restaurants have succeeded in preserving traditional tastes.
Yenice said the fast food sector has started to face problems in Turkey, and added, "Tradesmen's restaurants are one of the cornerstones of Turkish cuisine. It is possible to come across one on nearly every street and corner in Turkish cities, these restaurants are the representatives of tradesmen. In a way they reflect Turkish cuisine that descended from the Ottoman Empire. We cannot deny that such restaurants were negatively affected by the boost of fast food restaurants and were dealt a severe blow. However, recently the identikit dishes in the fast food arena have started to become an advantage for us as people now want to get rid of stereotyped fast food and appreciate homemade food. Therefore, as representatives of the sector, we initiated a great campaign nationwide. We will organize a local food festival soon. I don't have any doubt that Turkish cuisine and tradesmen's restaurants will be appreciated by the public."
Mehmet Kaya, who has served as a restaurateur for more than 30 years in Şanlıurfa, also stated that there are considerable differences between tradesmen's restaurants and the fast food sector.
Kaya said: "Here customers see what they eat and they also become references for their friends. Here they can witness every phase of cooking and serving. However, in the case of fast food, people do not have the chance. They eat unaware of the content. Fast food attracted great attention once. Now, we do not have any problem in terms of customer flow. People eat what they want both with high quality and for convenient prices. Here customers eat well, with limitless options consisting of kebabs, salads and beverages and just spend TL 20 ($5). Fast food is highly obscure to the customer."
Customer Bülent Yetkin said that most of the time he prepares food belonging to his own culture.
Speaking on what's usually for lunch in Şanlıurfa, Yetkin said: "We generally eat kebab. Yes, there are times we eat fast food at lunch, however, we left the table with questions in our minds about how healthy the content was. That's why we generally prefer restaurants. We are satisfied here as these kinds of restaurants are tidy, hygienic and delicious. Also, their customer relationship is great. In any case, they satisfy us."