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.

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peopleNational cycling charity CTC said he 'should have known better'
News
i100
Life and Style
The fashion retailers have said they will now not place any further orders for the slim mannequin
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Ugne, 32, is a Lithuanian bodybuilder
tvThey include a Lithuanian bodybuilder who believes 'cake is a sin' and the Dalai Lama's personal photographer
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food