Bristol Turkish restaurant with bad TripAdvisor reviews responds to criticism

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The manager of a restaurant that was repeatedly criticised for “rude” staff and long waiting times has said he is grateful for all customers for taking the time to leave their feedback.

Since 2018, Wusar on Gloucester Road has been serving a large variety of traditional Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine – from piping hot grills such as Adana Kofte to classic sweet treats like baklava. It has long prided itself as a Turkish delight and that belief seeps through its food and customer service.

However, in recent weeks its TripAdvisor rating has been dragged down. It is still ranked among the top 102 Mediterranean restaurants in Bristol with an overall rating of 3.5 stars out of 5, and the 10 ‘terrible’ one-star reviews are massively outweighed by the 29 ‘excellent’ five-star reviews on its page.

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One reviewer writing earlier this week angrily wrote about their detailed experience visiting Wusar and pleaded to readers to “avoid at all costs”, writing: “AVOID!! Avoid this place at all costs! I can’t comment much on the food because it never arrived after a 1.5 hours wait.

“When I complained about the waiting time, I was told I had to wait because it was a restaurant, not a take away (I think it was the owner). I was told by the same rude guy not to come back again, which for sure I won’t do.

“The only apologies we received was from a nice lady who felt horrible for the situation. I would understand when a place is busy, but no one came to explain the food was delayed or anything.”

The reviewer claimed that “other tables were angry and hungry” as well during their visit. Another reviewer chimed in highlighting a similar issue and said they ended up leaving after a long wait between their starter and main.

Their review read: “One of the worst experiences I have ever had. Arrived for a table reservation and waited 90 minutes to receive the starters which were simply fried halloumi and sausage.

“When we asked the waitress what was taking so long, the response was ‘I don’t know, I just take the food when it is ready. It takes time to cook food’. After waiting for two hours, we still had not received our main course and so we decided to leave (and paid for the drinks/starters).

“Upon leaving the restaurant, the manager became very angry and told us ‘This is a restaurant not a takeaway so you should wait for your food. Do not book to come back again’. We received appalling customer service and hospitality, after waiting extremely patiently for our food and not complaining once.

“I do not mind waiting for food if there are issues in the kitchen, but we received no apology for the wait and when we raised our concerns these were met with aggression. I felt very uncomfortable here.

“We were not the only table frustrated with the service, as we also witnessed another table walk out just before we did. I definitely will not be returning and would recommend to avoid!”



Wusar has not been prominently known to receive bad reviews, as they have also received good reviews for their food

‘Delicious food takes time’

Caner Acikgoz, manager of Wusar, spoke to Bristol Live about the backlash. Caner and his team have acknowledged how the staff have been hosting large numbers of customers daily, but he estimated that the negative feedback represents merely five per cent of Wusar’s general customer satisfaction.

He said: “Because of COVID, we are trying to pick up where we left off and it’s actually been great. Everyday we have more and more customers coming, which is good.

“Sometimes, because we are so busy, the food might be delayed, but most of our customers are quite happy with our food. 95 per cent of people enjoy coming to our restaurant and when you make food that we want to make as delicious as possible, it does take time.

“It’s not a takeaway shop. We make sure that our food is tasty but we also make sure it arrives on time.

“Restaurants will know that sometimes food can be delayed by 10 minutes, which is normal. The expectations from customers are normally high and they think in a couple minutes’ time the food will be ready.

“But of course, restaurants don’t normally work like that but if we did do that, our food wouldn’t be as great. We don’t get comments like that often so we are doing very well, we’re making progress and getting busier.”

The restaurant has also had some rave reviews recently. One TripAdvisor user who left a five-star rating enthused: “Absolutely fantastic experience service was good The food was delish!!!! And so much too only just managed to finish my main.

“Though the was the option to take some home… I just couldn’t leave it as it tasted so good. Would recommend to everyone in speak to about it. Good range of vegetarian options too.”




Caner said he hopes that the restaurant is gaining traction and can continue delivering their promise for top-quality food and service with affordable prices for all. Caner added that he is ultimately grateful for the reviews received online, both good and bad, so that his team can remain diligent on improving through honest feedback and constructive criticism.

He said: “We do take all the reviews seriously, because at the end of day, if anyone took the time to let us know what they think, we know exactly what we’re doing right and what we’re also doing wrong. Normally, we tell our customers to rate us and leave us a review on our website or on Google.

“In order for us to be better as a business, we need to read the comments. Our staff are reading through reviews and every Sunday we have staff meetings to discuss any improvements for our business.

“Hiring more staff makes a difference because the food won’t come that late, so we are really trying as much as we can. Sometimes, you can’t make everyone happy, but still, we have to compromise with our customers to make time to also make them happy.”

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