Little Chef sold to Kuwaiti firm Kout Food Group for £15 million

The restaurant chain went on sale in April by turnaround firm RCapital

The restaurant chain Little Chef will not disappear from Britain's roadsides after being snapped up by a Kuwaiti company for £15 million.

RCapital, who bought the chain in 2007, sold 81 sites to the UK arm of Kout Food Group, which owns Burger King and KFC outlets across the UK. RCapital will keep just two outlets.

The group has paid somewhat less than the £20 million first mooted when the chain was put up for sale.

Jamie Constable, Chief Executive of RCapital said the new owners would “take the brand to the next stage”. They will hope to capitalise on a breakfast and travel dining market estimated at £3 billion in the UK.

Fadwa Al Homaizi, Chairman of Kout Food Group Restaurants UK, said: “KGFR-UK has exciting plans to revitalise the Little Chef brand.

“Little Chef will benefit from a process of brand renewal in keeping with current trends, supported by traditional British values.”

Kout are expected to keep the name Little Chef.

The firm's Fat Charlie mascot has been a familiar sight for UK motorists for more than 50 years until 2004, when the image was slimmed down by former Chief Executive Tim Scoble to take the restaurant "forward into the 21st century".

However, its future appeared uncertain when it was put up for sale earlier this year and fast food and coffee chains began viewing its sites.

Little Chef was established 50 years ago by entrepreneur Sam Alper. There are now 83 Little Chef chains located at the side of motorways across the UK, employing 1,100 staff.

In 2009 Little Chef became the focus of a Channel 4 documentary featuring celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal as he introduced a new menu to their Basingstoke site. Blumenthal's revamp of the menu and refit of the restaurant interior provided a model for a further ten new concept restaurants and a rebranding exercise was undertaken.

Despite this, the company still reported losses in 2012 and RCapital announced the chain would go through a "pre-pack administration" to offload failing leases, before being put up for sale in April 2013.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas