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Little Chef launches new grab-and-go brand

03 February 2006

Little Chef is to radically overhaul its restaurant concept with a grab-and-go brand called Coffee Tempo.

The 250-strong chain of roadside diners will unveil the first unit at its Amesbury restaurant in Wiltshire next Friday (10 February).

The site - on the A303 - is the first of 17 to be rolled out before Easter as the company targets the roadside grab-and-go market with pastries, cappuccinos and hot sandwiches. The initial rollout will cost £1m.

The second site will be located at Scotch Corner, on the A1 in North Yorkshire and the brand will eventually go nationwide.

Little Chef development director Nick Smith, who moved from BP's Wild Bean café to create the concept, said: "We are building on a strong catering base to add a retail aspect to what we do. As we roll out, we will tweak the format to see what the best set-up is."

The Coffee Tempo units will sit within existing restaurants and occupy an average of 15sq m - each with between two and four high tables. Smith hopes to attract between 200 and 300 customers per day and bring in £3,000 to £4,000 per week at each unit.

Little Chef owner Lawrence Wosskow said he initially talked to Costa Coffee about a franchise deal but decided on developing an own-brand. "This way we can put in the product range we want. The other reason was that Costa Coffee wanted a large franchise fee," he said.

The group plans to spend £1m on changing the signage across all its sites and Smith did not rule out changing the Little Chef logo in the future. "We will look at everything, including the Fat Charlie logo, and make necessary changes as we go along," he said.

By Tom Bill

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