West Lindsey District Council has apologised to the owner of award-winning restaurant The Advocate Arms after a recent hygiene inspection.
Darren Lince, who owns the restaurant in Market Rasen’s town centre, requested a re-inspection after the Advocate Arms received only a two star hygiene rating in February.
The food hygiene rating system ranges from zero stars to five stars.
Mr Lince also lodged a formal complaint with West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) over the way the initial inspection had been conducted.
Mr Lince further put in formal complaints in relation to how his appeal had been handled, and how his complaint to the inspector’s line manager had been completed.
Following an agonising 13-week wait, the restaurant was inspected again - and its four star hygiene rating was reinstated.
In addition to this, Mr Lince received a letter of apology from WLDC’s Corporate Investigations Officer, Carol Bond, admitting that the authority was at fault in how they dealt with the initial inspection, appeal, and complaint.
Lesley Beevers, regulatory team manager at West Lindsey District Council, added: “We are delighted to see the Food Hygiene Rating at the Advocate Arms in Market Rasen go up from a two star to a four star, which recognises the significant improvements that have been made.
“We acknowledge that we did not provide an ideal service to Mr Lince with our initial inspection and that we also did not deal with his complaint in a professional manner.
“We have apologised to Mr Lince and have worked with him and his team to resolve the situation. Following a review of this case, we have put in place changes that will improve our dealings with customers.
Mr Lince said: “It has been a very unusual few months.
“We were so disappointed with the way the inspection was carried out by the local authority, and the way that they conducted the appeal process, but the apology and acceptance that they were at fault in how they conducted the initial inspection and appeal justified our complaint to them.”
He added: “We can now look forward to a busy summer, and continuing to provide excellent food and service to the people of Market Rasen and beyond.”
There has been more positive news for the Advocate Arms in the last few months.
They received a surprise visit from the AA, which awarded them a rosette for their consistently high food quality - making them one of only a few restaurants in the whole of Lincolnshire to have two rosettes at the same time.