Little Chef's new owners have slammed the roadside chain's overpriced menus and poor food offer.
Former Out of Town restaurant group owners Simon Heath and Lawrence Wosskow, who bought the 235-strong chain from Travelodge last week for £52m, said they will slash prices to woo customers back.
"There'll be no more ridiculously priced £2 pots of tea, no more credit card breakfasts and no more remortgages required to feed the family on a short break," said a spokesman for People's Restaurant, the company set up by the pair for the purposes of the deal.
Heath said they would invest about £10m over the next two years, including 500,000 on improving the visibility of roadside signage, £1m on refurbishment work and £5m on developing a grab-and-go offer.
"We'll be keeping fat Charlie on our signs," he added.
Outgoing Little Chef managing director Gerry Carroll agreed that there had been a "pricing issue" but defended his management of the company.
"I stabilised the business and cleaned it up for sale. We went from annual profit decline of 20% to double-digit growth this year, when we made about £10m."
The sale was handled by Davis Coffer Lyons.
Little Chef prices
|Full English, tea and toast||£9.40||£4.00|
|Fish and chips with mug of tea||£9.48||£4.99|
|Pot of tea||£2.00||99p/mug|