A mum-and-son team for whom cleanliness begins at home have turned around a pub fined more than £4,500 for failing food hygiene standards.
The Red Lion in Cranford’s new manager Heather Miller, 49, has raised its hygiene rating from zero stars before she took over last summer to four out of five after bringing in son Wayne as a chef.
Mr Miller, 30, of Kettering, said: “My mum’s a typical northerner to be honest. She keeps a clean home.
“When we were kids if our toy boxes were not right she used to tip them out and make us do it again.”
The chef said Mrs Miller “blitzed the place from top to bottom” when she took over and he has continued the deep clean regime.
Mr Miller steam cleans the kitchen regularly, cleans out the fridge and soaks and steam cleans the grills twice a week. He checks and marks dates as soon as produce comes in.
Staff polish cutlery twice and clean tables as soon as they become free.
The pub, in High Street, has a cleaner to take care of tables, windows and floors.
Cranford Leisure Ltd was fined £4,062.50 and sole director Dudley Annible £500 last year after admitting four breaches of food hygiene regulations uncovered in an inspection in July 2010.
Mr Miller, who lives on the Grange estate in Kettering, said regulars have been calling him out of the kitchen to compliment the home-cooked food he has introduced, which includes salmon, sea bass, rump steak, scampi, gammon, home-made burgers and weekly specials.
He said: “I feel quite proud of myself to be honest and my mum is too.
“Business is looking up as well. We are getting a lot of recommendations, which is good.”
Customers have been particularly impressed by his home-cooked Yorkshire puddings.
Mrs Miller said: “We are trying to make it a traditional, homely atmosphere and all our staff are welcoming and friendly.”
The pub is arranging events over the coming months to pull in customers, including a one-day beer festival on Sunday, May 6, a three-day beer and music festival to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee from June 2 to 4, including a fun day for Down’s Syndrome charity Ups ‘N’ Downs.
But first Mrs Miller is inviting customers to her 50th birthday party at the pub on Saturday, April 7.
For details call 01536 330724.