Plymouth's Bistrot Pierre given zero food hygiene rating

-Credit: (Image: Matt Gilley/PlymouthLive)
-Credit: (Image: Matt Gilley/PlymouthLive)

French-themed Bistrot Pierre has been given the lowest possible food hygiene rating for its Plymouth restaurant. The Royal William Yard eatery has been zero rated and told urgent improvement is necessary.

After an inspection in June, the Food Standards Agency said “major improvement” was needed for the outlet’s management of food safety, and for the cleanliness and condition of its facilities and building. It was also told to improve its hygienic food handling.

When Bistrot Pierre was last inspected, in December 2019, it was given a top rating of five and told it was “very good”. Bosses at the chain, which has 20 restaurants, today said they were “extremely disappointed” and had already made improvements ahead of being re-scored.


Kieran Mott, Bistrot Pierre’s regional director, said: “We are committed to providing our guests with the highest quality dining experience, so we were extremely disappointed to receive a food safety inspection rating that fell far below our usual standards last month. We are working hand in hand with the environmental health officer and since the original inspection we have had two more visits, one of which was unannounced.

“The officer is very pleased with progress made and has advised that as soon as all structural work is complete, she will be happy to re-score. We would like to thank the environmental health officer for her support.

“Furthermore, we have conducted a thorough cleaning and sanitation of all our kitchen and food preparation areas, both internal and external to our restaurant, to ensure they meet the highest standards of cleanliness and safety. We have also implemented intensive retraining for all our staff on food handling, storage and hygiene practices, and we have increased our internal monitoring and auditing procedures to ensure ongoing compliance with food safety standards.”

Bistrot Pierre opened in the New Cooperage at Urban Splash’s Royal William Yard in 2013. Its bistrot, bar and heated terrace serve meals “inspired by our travels around France”. The chain also operates the Residence One boutique hotel, which has 14 rooms.

The company was started as a single franchise restaurant in Nottingham in 1994 by school friends Robert Beacham and John Whitehead. But the chain, now backed by London-based private equity firm Livingbridge Group, has struggled since being bought out of administration in 2020 and axed 120 staff in 2022/23.

Recently filed accounts showed a pre-tax loss of £2.5m in 2023, up from a loss of nearly £670,000 a year earlier. It shut outlets in Newport and Altrincham because they were no longer viable.

Bistrot Pierre is not the only well-known Plymouth restaurant to be stung by a low food hygiene rating this year. In April, the owners of Plymouth’s popular waterfront HonkyTonk Wine Library said they were “mortified” after being given a zero rating in March and stressed they had carried out changes. The Sutton Harbour wine lounge and deli previously had a top-level rating of five.

The same month, The Dock, at King Point Marina, also said it had made key changes after being given the second lowest food hygiene rating, of one, and told to make improvements. It has since been re-inspected and was given a rating of a two.

Even famous chef Mitch Tonks' Rockfish outlet, at Sutton Harbour, was left reeling when it was rated two out of five in October. It was the first time the restaurant had dipped below a perfect five in the decade it had been open. But following remedial action and a reinspection in November, Rockfish’s rating was elevated back to five.

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