Goodbye from Safwaan

“All good things must come to an end”

It is with a heavy heart, I announce my permanent departure from Royston Tandoori. After 4 brilliant years at the helm, I have come to the difficult decision that it is my time to move on; carrying with me many incredible memories and experiences.

I would like to thank all my friends and customers that have wholeheartedly supported me from the beginning. I am swapping Tandoori colours of royal blue for Raj red-maroon as I take over at British Raj across town.

My journey as a restaurateur has been unbelievable, beginning my first business at the tender age of 18 was no easy feat; during those early days I could never imagine reaching these heights. I faced many challenges at the beginning, taking over a failing business and commencing my degree in Marketing at the University of Hertfordshire.

Original Article
The original newspaper article quoting ‘the youngest restaurant owner’

I never gave up in achieving my dreams and I was determined to succeed. My aim was to turn this relatively unknown & hidden takeaway outlet into one of national acclaim, introducing Royston to an excellent restaurant-standard cuisine with impeccable and hospitable service to match.

Whilst building up an enviable reputation and rapport in the restaurant industry, I could never forget my roots. Through my business, I was able to contribute to society and give back to the town I grew up in. We hosted countless charity events and raised thousands of pounds for local & international charity campaigns. A particular success was ‘Bollywood Dinner & Dance’ for Royston Town Mayor at the time, Sarah Dingley.

Some of my fondest memories are at our local middle school, Roysia, where year after year I would return to conduct cookery lessons & introduce children to British curry cuisine and its origins of India & Bangladesh.

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Teaching at Roysia Middle School was one of my most rewarding experiences
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Charity ‘Bollywood Dinner & Dance’ with Royston Town Mayor 2016-17

Over the years, I was proud to lead the team and be recognised as one of the best takeaways both regionally and nationally. Hard work truly paid off as we built a clutch of awards, my all-time favourite was presented by Eastenders star Gillian Taylforth; for the title of ‘Best Eatery in Royston & District’ at the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

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Kathy Beale of Eastenders (Gillian Taylforth) presenting ‘Best Eatery in Royston & District’

On the national stage, Royston Tandoori featured in the ‘Oscars of the curry industry’: the British Curry Awards. For three consecutive years, we were shortlisted amongst the top 8 or 9 takeaways and national runners-up for Best Takeaway. Last year I was also recognised with the accolade of ‘Young Restaurateur of the Year’ by Catering Circle and UKBCCI ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ finalist.

It was a hard decision to come to, but by no means is this goodbye, Royston. I am well into the next part of my journey as I focus on operations at British Raj Express opposite Royston Railway Station.

It’s no secret that I have always wished to re-launch our Choudhury family establishment, the British Raj, and now I feel fully able to continue the success in a new venue. My customers and friends have always demanded I open my own restaurant, keep your eyes peeled as I am in the planning stages of creating the ultimate dining experience.

I hope to see you all soon!

SAFWAAN CHOUDHURY