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Wimpy

Traditional burger chain Wimpy were the very first High Street name to make it onto the motorway, following a partnership with Top Rank in 1964. Sometimes known as Wimpy Express, these stand-alone takeaway units took the pressure off the main restaurants by selling hamburgers and ice cream, and were usually popular.

More recently, in 1996 Roadchef trialled a Wimpy restaurant inside Durham services. Shortly afterwards they decided to roll out Wimpy to all of their services in preference to newer rivals McDonald's, with Wimpy commenting "the little guy can sometimes win". Wimpy didn't quite make it to every site, as the smallest three were excluded.

The name 'Wimpy Express' began to be brought back to some services, and Wimpy enjoyed 10 years as one of Roadchef's main brands. It was intended to be a takeaway offer but usually included a small choice of seating. At Harthill, a drive thru restaurant was built, and Roadchef had looked at building more of these.

Following a new franchise agreement in 2007, Roadchef started to replace Wimpy with McDonald's. They were slow to roll out the successful trial, and in the interim period many Wimpys temporarily became The Burger Company.

In Ireland, Applegreen acquired the master franchise for Wimpy in the early 2000s, and introduced a Wimpy restaurant to many of their service areas. The deal ended in 2010, after Applegreen secured a deal with Burger King.

Wimpy Chicken

Wimpy Chicken.
The Wimpy Chicken logo.

At least 13 services gained a sister company to Wimpy, only serving chicken dishes, named Dr Beak's Chicken. In 2003, Wimpy merged this with their own name to create Wimpy Chicken. This lasted at services until 2007.

Locations

Wimpy used to be found at the following services: