High Flyer fights back after council ruling floors them
- Credit: TERRY HARRIS
Restaurateur Jason Tudor is keeping his fingers crossed customers will vote with their feet, and Trip Advisor reviews, following a council hygiene inspection that he says floored him and his team.
Mr Tudor is managing director of Great British Inns and he believes an inspection by East Cambridgeshire District Council who left him with a 1-star rating is unfair.
“In truth it's been an absolute nightmare,” said Mr Tudor who said the issues picked up after the inspectors unannounced visit had been remedied quickly but still failed to prevent the 1-star rating.
“It’s the sort of rating you would expect if you had rats in the cellar,” he said. “Not for a handful of issues picked up on a day when the head chef was off with Covid and three team members were also away”.
Trip Advisor reviews have, in the main, been hugely positive and Mr Tudor said his devastated chef had since made a social media video inviting any customer for a behind the scenes inspection.
“But unfortunately – and you know what social media can also be like – some people have seen comments about the High Flyer and we have had cancellations,” he said.
His company, like others, were hit by Covid and have been working to restore lost trade and he says the High Flyer is “ripe to reap its potential.
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“When we first looked at it, we recognised it had so much more to offer.”
It has since enjoyed a massive overhaul of the interior, refurbished the bar and restaurant, and opened up luxury bedrooms.
It was ‘flying high’ until the inspection.
He said even when all the works requested were done, a re-visit threw up more items not on the original list.
“It all seemed unfair as the goal posts kept being moved,” he said.
Mr Tudor said his company had strict health and hygiene rules across all its outlets, and a new inspection by his own environmental health team from Bedfordshire had visited this week.
“They gave it a 5-star rating,” he said. “We take our customers health and security very seriously.
“Great food is important to us – it is all home-made and we use only fresh ingredients.”
Health officials followed up their first inspection on February 10 and returned on March 9.
The council then wrote to Mr Tudor to note that “significant improvements had been made” in complying with their demands.
The letter said they were also assured that further works of repair were to take place within days.
As a result, said the council, “formal action is not being considered at this point.
“However, in order to check that the remaining contraventions have been addressed, including new ones noted on March 9, I will re-inspect again in approximately four weeks.”
The company was warned that if they failed to comply within that time, formal action would be considered.
The letter added: “Please be aware that your business will not be issued with a new food hygiene rating after this re-inspection.”