Little Chef restaurant chain put up for sale
The sale of the roadside restaurant chain is expected to fetch tens of millions of pounds for turnaround firm R Capital, which bought it out of administration in 2007
Sunday 14 April 2013
Little Chef has been put up for sale, with potential buyers including Starbucks and Costa Coffee.
The sale of the roadside restaurant chain is expected to fetch tens of millions of pounds for turnaround firm R Capital, which bought it out of administration in 2007.
Service station operators such as Welcome Break and Moto are also expected to express an interest in buying the firm, according to the Sunday Times.
The chain, which is renowned for its Fat Charlie mascot and its Olympic Breakfast, had just under 200 restaurants when it was rescued by R Capital.
A radical restructuring plan has focused the business on a core estate of 78 profitable restaurants and a relaunched Express takeaway service.
Little Chef opened its first 11-seat branch in Reading in 1958, and in its 80s heyday served millions of customers a year from more than 230 branches. But the chain’s popularity faded as motorway service stations added cheap fast food outlets such as McDonald’s and KFC.
The business racked up significant losses under the ownership of The People’s Restaurant Group, which bought Little Chef from private equity group Permira for £52 million in 2005.
In 2009, Heston Blumenthal was brought in to transform the eatery’s dated menu and décor. While a Channel 4 documentary about the celebrity chef’s struggles with the Little Chef bosses generated some interest in the chain, it couldn’t ultimately prevent restaurant closures and job losses.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...