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Little Chef Choices

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Little Chef Choices was the name of a short-lived format of Little Chef restaurant, created by Compass.

Compass used the format to take advantage of the number of catering names they owned, and increase the variety of options available to customers. Each Choices site was accompanied by a thorough refurbishment with lowered lights, tablecloths, and oak and steel fittings used to create a High Street ambiance which would attract more evening diners.

The styling was created by architect Tilney Slane, and the restaurants gave customers the option of Caffè Ritazza, Upper Crust, Wiseguys Pizza, or Harry Ramsden's. The Little Chef policy at the time was to invest in large restaurants while closing the smaller ones.

The concept was trialled at Marston Moretaine and Peartree in 2001, with both reporting a 30% increase in sales. It was then rolled out to 12 of the larger restaurants in 2002 with plans for 30 more by 2003. Many of these, such as Dreghorn, never happened.

The roll-out followed Granada's introduction of Little Chef Express to motorway service areas, and their introduction of Burger King to Little Chef. The Little Chef Choices name was most likely inspired by Granada (and later Compass) operating catering contracts under what they called the 'Choices' format, which allowed diners to choose from a number of totally different food styles.

After Little Chef were sold by Compass, the enthusiasm for Choices – and probably the rights to some of the names – was lost. Most of the changes were undone in 2003, whilst the Harry Ramsden's offer was removed in 2004, with Harry Ramsden's saying they wanted to be known for their stand-alone restaurants.


The following branches became Little Chef Choices:

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