A BANBURY cafe has undergone a 'massive' improvement project after joining the small list of restaurants in Oxfordshire with a zero star rating.

Jenny's Restaurant in High Street were given the lowest possible rating when Cherwell District Council environmental health officers visited in November.

It was rated 'very bad' when it came to food hygiene and safety and extensive work was needed to get rid of pests from the premises.

Inspectors had no confidence in the management to turn things around and also raised structural problems with the restaurant.

Cleaning was also a problem as well as paperwork and a regularly updated food safety management system.

But the business has responded to the criticism by refurbishing the entire premises, repainting the walls and ceilings and fitting new equipment.

Manager Karwan Said said: "The kitchen has seen a massive improvement; we stripped it back to bare walls, re-plastered, re-tiled and laid a new floor.

"New equipment such as sinks, fridges and worktops have been installed and we now display signs in the kitchen to highlight important hygiene facts.

"We have also purchased new cleaning products and all staff are trained on their use."

It joins Bamboo Garden, also in Banbury, the deli Branca Food in Jericho, Oxford Pizza and Kebab Shop, Ashdown Cat in Aston Tirrold, Reynolds Supermarket in Abingdon and the Vine Inn in Cumnor as the only places in the county with a zero - according to the Scores on the Doors website.

Jenny's Restaurant staff hoped to get a higher rating when a revisit takes place but in the meantime said it was committed to maintaining high standards.

Mr Said added that a pest problem was one of the major reason for the complete refurbishment.

He said: "The main reason for these works, which were scheduled anyway, was to ensure the premises was free from any pests. Any access points have now been filled and we have worked closely and extensivley with a reputable pest controller to ensure our premises is free from pest activity.

"We are committed to maintaining high standards of food hygiene moving forward."

A new till and coffee counter has been installed to make cleaning easier and damaged tables and chairs have been repaired and replaced.

The restaurant, which opens from 7am to 5am, has a four star rating on TripAdvisor and is regularly praised by visitors for its breakfast and coffee.