A popular takeaway has reopened as a fish and grill restaurant - and its boss thanked loyal customers who supported it through more challenging times.

The former Burlington's fish and chip takeaway in Main Road, Gidea Park, reopened as Burlington's Fish and Grill on September 21 and its manager has thanked customers who have supported their family-run business.

Halil Tasasiz, 20, left his GCSEs aged 14 or 15 to work at Burlington's with his father and owner Ayhan, 50, and older brother and co-manager Aydin, 21.

“I’ve seen a lot change,” said Halil of business in the area. “Financial struggles and Covid times when it got slow - it does change a person.

“But it just made us work harder and push ourselves more.”

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Halil said he works seven days a week with his north London-based family.

The 20-year-old added that it was especially hard during Covid since most of their customers had been pensioners and some died.

“75% of our customers are pensioners,” he said. “It got difficult for us most when some of them passed away during Covid times.”

Halil said being part of a family business has not been without tense moments, especially in the kitchen, but said they got through it together.

“With family business sometimes in busy times you argue,” he said. “But we have a community that looks after each other – we don’t try and leave everything to the [other] staff.

Burlington's employed more staff when it expanded, Halil said, easing the workload on his family.

Romford Recorder: L-R: Aydin Tasasiz, Mehmet Solguntekin and Ayhan TasasizL-R: Aydin Tasasiz, Mehmet Solguntekin and Ayhan Tasasiz (Image: Halil Tasasiz)

Ayhan, owner for over ten years, said Burlington's has remained popular and was not in a difficult financial position, even in the current climate.

Halil added that talking to people openly was crucial to their success.

“We started off as a takeaway, grabbing people by their hearts,” he said. “It is important for people to eat good food - many do not get to taste fresh food."

He thanked his customers and credited them for the eatery's longevity.

“I would like to thank our customers so much for supporting us,” Halil said. “They know our real struggles.”