|Associated names:||The Burger Company, McDonald's, Costa, Restbite, Pizza Hut, Hot Food Co., Fone Bitz, Game On, WHSmith, Days Inn|
|Predecessors:||Blue Boar, Take a Break, First|
|Acquired by:||Antin Infrastructure Partners|
|Chief executive:||Simon Turl|
|Headquarters address:||RoadChef Motorways Ltd|
Norton Canes [Motorway Services]
WS11 9UX [map]
|Phone number:||01543 272540|
Roadchef is the smallest of the 'big three' operators, and being the only one of the three not to have had an affair with Granada, they have previously as being slightly different from the rest.
Their services usually take two forms; either small, secluded services built by Roadchef or modern open ones which have been inherited and re-built or built by them in recent years.
The headquarters used to be located in Barnwood, Gloucester, before moving to a purpose-built space at Norton Canes.
In 2014 they purchased their only a-road service area at Sutton Scotney, and began completely refitting each unit.
After an unsuccessful stint with McDonald's in the 1990s, and a period of falling behind competitors who were building new shops and popular fast food stores, Roadchef tried again in 2008. This time, under a more relaxed franchise agreement, it was a success and eventually rolled out to all their sites, which has significantly increased turnover. In 2015 they also joined their rivals in providing convenience stores, with Roadchef's partner being Spar.
Although many of their services had each facility tucked away in its own unit, Roadchef have been working to create a large food court at each of their sites, by moving facilities around. This has created a brighter, busier atmosphere, albeit much busier too. The front of their older services now uses grey cladding to brighten them up.
After several experiments with restaurants, they are now introducing Fresh Food Cafe, with one of the more extensive menus from a large operator. New restaurant refurbishments usually include posters with local history.
Recently they have began to sell some of their forecourts to Euro Garages, allowing Roadchef to focus on the more profitable amenity buildings.
Full details: History:Roadchef
The Roadchef name was first used in 1973. Despite several problems with finance and image they continued to grow, taking in several former operators and working with many different brand names.
Roadchef's initial logo consisted of a chef's hat and coffee cup, accompanied by the slogan "serves the traveller". They also used a gold/beige colour scheme.
They then moved on to writing 'RoadChef' on a sign in red (the capitalisation seems to have varied depending on their mood, but the current trend is to write it all in lower case). In 2002 they introduced the slightly more relaxed and stylish logo (see above), and before then they used the slightly funkier '80s logo pictured to the right.
Roadchef, in line with the other operators, changed their logo so that it read 'RoadChef Costa Coffee' on the headboard on signs for their services. Part of the trial at Strensham involved making the headboard read 'McDonald's Costa', something which the others soon picked up on.
A list of services ran by Roadchef can be found at on a map., or you can view them
The following services were owned by Roadchef:
The following services were planned by Roadchef but they were never built:
- Catherine-de-Barnes (M42)
- Gloucestershire Gateway (previous design) (M5)
- Great Wood (M4 westbound)
- Sheffield (original plan) (M1)
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