No 'French Exit' For Le Bistrot Pierre's Marylise!Published On Saturday 25 Jul 2015 by Sticky Beak
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EXPANDING independent restaurant group Le Bistrot Pierre is celebrating its landmark 21st anniversary – and so is its long-serving operations director Marylise Perrard.
Marylise, arrived in the UK from France in 1994 and took a temporary job at Bistrot Pierre shortly after it launched. Little did she know that her temporary job would end up staying for more than two decades.
Today, Marylise is the longest serving member of staff at Bistrot Pierre, which celebrates its landmark 21st birthday this month.
The award-winning French eatery – then called Pierre Victoire - opened its doors for the first time in Nottingham in July 1994 – and not long afterwards, Marylise arrived
Marylise, 41, said: “I came to England for a year, that was the plan anyway. I saw jobs advertised at the restaurant and I remember I came in on a Saturday night for a trial. I had broken English and could hardly carry even two plates.
“I wasn’t that great at first, but I hung in there and I thought ‘I will get better’. Thankfully I did and 21 years later, I am still here.”
Marylise says that to see the rising success of the Bistrot Pierre group is really satisfying. When she started in Nottingham, Rob and John had just two sites – Nottingham and Derby. Today there are 13 restaurants all over the UK – and rising.
Bistrot Pierre now has bistrots in Bath, Cardiff, Derby, Harrogate, Ilkley, Leamington Spa, Leicester, Plymouth, Sheffield, Stockton Heath, Stratford upon Avon and Torquay.
The group plans further openings in Newport in 2015, Birmingham and The Mumbles, Swansea in 2016, with further sites in the pipeline for 2017.
Marylise was promoted to general manager at the Derby Bistrot Pierre in 1996 and then promoted to area manager in 2003. Seven years ago, she rose to operations director.
“I love working for Bistrot Pierre. I just don’t see it as work,” she said. “As a French person, I know that Bistrot Pierre is authentic. It serves really authentic French food at affordable prices. Only some of the dishes are tweaked for the British taste.
“Whenever I go home for a holiday in France, I always bring back ideas to share with the team at Bistrot Pierre.”
Rob said: “Her English wasn’t brilliant, but Marylise was very enthusiastic and we knew she’d be a great addition to the team.
“Marylise has succeeded because she has a warmth and natural talent for working with people and looking after customers. Marylise has absolutely been a major part of our continuing success story and we are incredibly grateful for the years and hard work she has put in to the business.”
Throughout this month the bistrot will be celebrating its birthday by running a number of initiatives to thank diners for their support including ‘golden tickets’ under chairs and inviting those also celebrating on 29 July also, be it a birthday or an anniversary, into the restaurant for a bottle of French sparkling Veuve Devienne ..
Rob and John have been friends since school and always dreamed of going into business together.
The pair originally opened their first venue as the Nottingham franchise of restaurant chain Pierre Victoire in 1994. When things took a different direction and the Pierre Victoire group folded four years later, Rob and John rebranded and soon expanded the operation into other cities and haven’t looked back.
Rob said: “Seeing our business grow, working with our fantastic restaurant teams and delivering a great customer experience that you cannot get anywhere else gives us a sense of enormous satisfaction.”