A LIFE STORY HEADING TO SUCCESS TAHIR TEKIN OZTAN

Tahir Tekin Öztan who created today's Sahan brand after gaining great achievements from 1907 to this date was born in Gaziantep in 1961 as the fifth child of the family. Tahir Tekin Öztan came to Istanbul with his family when he was 13 and while he was receiving education in Fenerbahçe High School he started working in the small restaurant with 12 tables in Caddebostan owned by his father and brother-in-law as apprentice. Öztan started to learn the profession alongside of his brother-in-law Mehmet Yaşar Sancılı who was a very successful chief at weekends and on summer in this restaurant where Gaziantep foods were served.

When he understood that his father and brother-in-law wouldn't accept the projects accumulated on his mind for business, he opened his first restaurant in Caddebostan Plaj Yolu with the money he saved. Öztan who began his business life when he was just 23 as a young entrepreneur had worked in the kitchen by himself for two yours without hiring any chief. By creating difference in a short time with specific Antep foods, affordable prices, importance given to quality and respect shown against the customer, Tahir Tekin Öztan now operates the restaurant chain business.

Tahir Tekin Öztan is also the pioneer of many innovations in the sector with Sahan brand... During its history for about forty years, many innovations that seem to be ordinary today but was a first for that period of implementation were realized by Öztan. Use of dishwashers, photocell controlled taps, automatic doors, take-out foods with motor vehicle are only few examples for those innovations... Furthermore, Tahir Tekin Öztan released the frozen lahmacun to the market for the first time and continues to be the pioneer of many firsts.

As Sahan was owned by a young entrepreneur, growth and development was inevitable. First branch of SAHAN was opened in Plaj Yolu in 1984. Respectively, Acıbadem SAHAN in 1992, Suadiye in 1994 and SAHAN Vega in 2003 came into service. In 2009, Şirehan and Yemişhan, among the historical inns of Gaziantep, joined SAHAN family.

Tahir Tekin Öztan had the opportunity to realize many of his dreams in Sahan Vega and he put the biggest restaurant in Istanbul Anatolia into service with this branch. Öztan started to render service with multiple choices up to 1500 people in this restaurant and he realized his biggest dream of children's restaurant in Sahan Vega. This children's restaurant with a capacity of 50 persons and an area of 140 m2 hosts special invitations, birthday parties and kindergarten graduate invitations. Besides, while parents eat their meals, their children cooks their own meals under the supervision of instructors in the children's kitchen which is a first in Turkey. Their parents take the opportunity to eat in a comfortable and peaceful environment. This special section includes children's toilet, breast feeding and diaper changing areas, baby feeding chairs for every age group and special service plates and belongs entirely to children and pedagogues received children's psychology education and instructors always take care of young guests. There is VIP hall for 60 persons for special meetings in Sahan Vega that big companies prefer to host their guests on weekdays. Sahan Vega's parking lot with a capacity of 1000 vehicles provide great convenience for the guests.

Öztan holds the presidency of Istanbul Association of Gaziantep People and has conducted many great studies. Öztan protected Gaziantep history and culture and he converted historical Şirehan that was built in the era of Abdulhamit II in 1886 and became a part of Gaziantep into a boutique hotel with 92 standard, 10 club, 2 junior suit, 3 king suit and 1 disabled room along with historical and mystical architecture having 600-person congress, meeting, ball and wedding hall with options for 7 separate meeting and ball room for 70-80 persons and converted Yemişhan, just next to Şirehan, into the biggest restaurant of the region as Sahan restaurant with a capacity of 1500 persons through an investment of 10 million dollars.
Öztan pays attention to the fact that materials he uses are completely natural and gives important to offer the same taste every season. For that purpose, raw materials of special products and sweeteners like red pepper, mint, sumac, pomegranate syrup used in meals are delivered from Gaziantep through special orders. Vegetables and dry legumes to be used throughout the year are purchased from farmlands as fresh and kept in the plants of Sahan established on an area of 2500 m2. This plant consists of dried foods warehouse, quick freezing warehouse and food factory. Thus each customers is provided with the same taste under the same standards in each branch every season.

Öztan, one of the founders of Association for Research, Development and Protection of Anatolian Cuisine, is the author of Gaziantep Foods from Tradition to Future that is a product of a study for 5 years for which Öztan traveled 5000 km, took 5000 photos, made interviews with about 2000 women to reach accumulation of knowledge of three generations in Gaziantep food culture in order to bring out the foods of Gaziantep that are sunk into oblivion or lost their souls. Furthermore, he applied to Turkish Patent Institute along with the project partner other associations for the geographic regional registration for 30 foods belonging to Gaziantep cuisine.

Öztan claims that it's required to mention about Turkish cuisine to introduce Turkey to the world and for that purpose, Öztan practically introduced Gaziantep cuisine to many domestic and foreign chiefs with the project entitled ''Beautiful Things At Hand'' for palatal delights of Gaziantep cuisine that he conducted in collaboration with Gaziantep University in 2012 to promote and spread Turkish cuisine and he participated in 4th International Food and Nutrition Congress and 3rd SAFE Consortium International Food Safety Congress and introduced and presented ''Yuvarlama'' and Lahmacun'' among Gaziantep foods in Local and Ethnic Foods section of the congress. He also led the sustainability of ''şire'' tradition sunk into oblivion with ''Şire Festival'' organized for the first time in 2013 in Gaziantep Şirehan Hotel. Öztan started the journey with the purpose of ''introducing a country and a city in the most beautiful way through the cuisine of that country'' and he managed to traditionalize the promotion of his own country and city thanks to this festival to which many domestic and foreign chief, press and protocol were invited.

Tahir Tekin Öztan gives importance to the training of the personnel working within Sahan. Training program including various subjects like food safety, personal hygiene, kitchen hygiene, customer satisfaction, communication skills, managerial principles, first aid, techniques to overcome the stress, wine training, beer training is provided by the trainers who are experts in their subject.

Öztan believes that in order for an employee to benefit from the trainings and add value to the organization he/she should be mentally physically healthy and he accordingly provides trainings to his employees. Therefore, workplace doctor and psychologist in Sahan come together with the employees in line with their needs and solves their problems. Primarily, psychological training is provided to the employees in periodic intervals by Akif Verimli and his team. All branches of Sahan can benefit from psychological consultancy service and other all services.

Öztan gives great importance to personal hygiene and he has a manicurist working within the company to provide hand and foot care services to all personnel from apprentice to master, from hostess to chief waitress, which is a first in Turkey.

Tahir Tekin Öztan focuses on lack of personnel with training and professional skills which is one of the most important problems of the industry as well as promotion of Turkish cuisine.


LIMITLESS SUPPORT TO EDUCATION FROM TASTE MASTER

Öztan believes that it's only possible to prevent the degeneration of the foods (loss of soul) through trained chiefs and thus he has started to work in cooperation with Gaziantep Governorship, Gaziantep Municipality and Gaziantep University and he is one of the leaders of the gastronomy department established within Gaziantep University. Within the scope of this education, it's planned to provide theoretical and practical trainings to the students at the same time. It's aimed that students who will work in Sahan Şirehan as practice kitchen will be ready for practical professional life when they are graduated.

Another project related to the education was implemented within the frame of European Union, Leonardo da Vinci ''mobility program''. In the project which was realized as a result of the personal efforts of Maltepe Vocational High School Principal and teachers and completed first stage, opportunity to do internship in Sahan was provided for the students coming from Poland. In the program that will last for three years, Turkish food culture will be taught to the students coming from Poland.

Tahir Tekin Öztan explains the reasons for success of Sahan as hard working, protecting the values and providing service by putting himself in customer's place. “My customers are actually my guests, I have always seen them like that'' said Öztan and told that even the smallest details are important to him in this direction.

Öztan conducts common studies with academicians to protect Turkish cuisine and he has started serious enterprises to introduce the regional foods of Turkish cuisine to the world. Öztan works tremendously to open branches in USA and Europe after Şirehan branch. The adventure started with 12 tables in 1970 and reached 2000 tables today and will continue to grow.

Tahir Tekin Öztan continues his studies in construction and medical health industry apart from restaurant chain. Öztan grew up with sports when he was young and had played in various teams as an amateur for long years. Football has a very important place in Öztan's life and he achieved various successes in that field. Öztan performed the task of presidency of Gaziantep Büyükşehir Belediyespor for two years as well as presidency of Gaskispor within the same period. Tahir Tekin Öztan became the single person who performed the task of presidency of 2 clubs simultaneously for the first time in the world.

Öztan who is considered one of the most important businessmen in Turkey is a single father of a daughter.

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