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Little Chef set for revamp

05 | 08 | 13

Restaurant chain Little Chef has been purchased by a Kuwaiti business in a £15 million deal.

The UK arm of the Kout Food Group has bought the company from RCapital, which will retain two of its 83 venues across the country.

Little Chef was established in 1958 with the opening of an 11-seat outlet in Reading, but has struggled in recent years. However, the Kout Group has claimed to have "exciting plans" to revitalise and re-establish the brand.

Fadwa al-Homaizi, chairman of the firm's UK business, commented: "Little Chef will benefit from a process of brand renewal in keeping with current trends, supported by traditional British values."

Kout, which currently owns a number of KFC and Burger King outlets across the UK, is expected to maintain the Little Chef name and its workforce of more than 1,000 people.

RCapital chief executive Jamie Constable welcomed the deal and said it will help to take the brand to the "next level". The company purchased the chain in 2007 in an attempt to revive its fortunes after it entered administration.

"It was much harder than we expected. As the country faced one of the worst economic declines in living memory, we rolled up our sleeves and got on with it, we believed we could make it work and we did," Mr Constable stated.

Commercial catering equipment companies are likely to keep a close eye on Little Chef's developments and will be interested to see if one of the country's oldest restaurant chains can continue to thrive in the modern economy.

Prior to the Kout Group deal, the firm introduced a number of measures to try to encourage more customers to visit its outlets. 

A new summer menu was released in June and the firm's iconic mascot Charlie had a Twitter account launched in his name in February.

Little Chef served seven million customers last year and sold 13,107 cups of tea at its outlets across the UK.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801620744-ADNFCR

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