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Little Chef: From Roadside Monopoly to Extinction - A Nostalgic Look at the UK's Iconic Diner Chain

Little Chef was a popular roadside diner chain in the UK with 439 restaurants on major routes, known for its near monopoly on roadside dining.
Many people, including Lawrence Wosskow from Sheffield, have fond memories of visiting Little Chef as children and receiving free sweets.

Lawrence, who grew up to become a successful entrepreneur, even bought the restaurant chain as an adult.

However, the chain eventually disappeared.

The cause of its demise is not explicitly stated in the text.

In 1958, Peter Merchant and Sam Alper started Little Chef in the UK, drawing inspiration from roadside diners in the United States.

With growing car ownership and an expanding road network, they saw an opportunity to provide decent and affordable meals for travelers.

Their first Little Chef opened in Reading, Berkshire, in a small, pre-fabricated building with seating for 11 customers.

Ten years after the initial purchase, Trust Houses Ltd bought the company, later renamed Trusthouse Forte after merging with Charles Forte's hotel and catering business.

Little Chef, known for its Olympic Breakfasts and Jubilee Pancakes, continued to thrive, and budget hotels called "Little Chef Lodges" were constructed next to some restaurants.

These hotels were later rebranded as "Travelodges" after Trusthouse Forte acquired the American motel brand of the same name.
Translated by AI

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