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Kuwait company saves Little Chef

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Kuwaiti owned company Kout Food Group has acquired the roadside diner brand Little Chef for £15m, saving the company from closure.

R Capital, the turnaround specialist that took Little Chef over in 2007, will keep just two of the 83 sites.

The UK arm of Kout Food Group already runs more than 40 Burger King and KFC outlets in the UK as well as the Maison Blanc brand.

Its UK chairwoman Fadwa Al Homaizi said it had “exciting plans to revitalise the Little Chef brand” and added that “Little Chef will benefit from a process of brand renewal in keeping with current trends, supported by traditional British values.”

The first branch of Little Chef, recognised nationwide by its “Fat Charlie” logo, started life as a 11 seat restaurant in Reading in 1958. It had 230 branches at the peak of its success.

RCapital’s chief executive Jamie Constable said the new owners would “take the brand to the next stage”.

The fast food chain served 7m customers last year employs 1100 staff at 83 sites and serves seven million customers a year.

The various owners have tried a number of measures to boost its popularity in recent years including appointing celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal to the brand in 2009, and launching a takeaway concept in 11 sites called Little Chef Express in 2012.

Published on Monday 05 August by Editorial Assistant

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