Little Chef brand could be scrapped

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Little Chef brand could be scrapped

The Little Chef has been put up for sale, and could disappear from Britain's roadsides after more than 50 years in business.

So far, bidders include other chains McDonalds, KFC and Costa Coffee - but if any of their bids are successful they are not expected to continue trading as Little Chef.

The business has had a difficult time since it went into administration in 2007 and was bought by the London-based private equity group Rcapital.

Since then it has undergone a menu revamp by Heston Blumenthal but, although it has returned to profit, diners have been more inclined to eat at rival fast food chains.

Rcapital said: "The aim of the sale was to find a buyer that would take the business and the brand on to the next stage. However the market is changing and fast food and coffee houses are growing in popularity. It is not a surprise that the majority of the offers for Little Chef are from companies that may want to re-brand the estate. Rcapital has a deep affection for the Little Chef brand and it is hoped that some Little Chefs will remain on Britain's A roads even if some sites are re-branded."

Little Chef started out as an an 11-seat restaurant in Reading, Berkshire in 1958. The chain now has 83 sites from Devon to Scotland, and serves about six million customers per year.

It is thought that the sale will be complete by the end of the summer.

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