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Roadchef

Roadchef
Roadchef
Locations:30
Associated names:The Burger Company, McDonald's, Costa, Restbite, Pizza Hut, Hot Food Co., Fone Bitz, Game On, WHSmith, Days Inn
Introduced:1973
Predecessors:Blue Boar, Take a Break, First
Acquired by:Antin Infrastructure Partners
Chief executive:Simon Turl
Headquarters address:RoadChef Motorways Ltd
RoadChef House
Norton Canes [Motorway Services]
Betty's Lane
Norton Canes
Cannock
Staffordshire
WS11 9UX [map]
Phone number:01543 272540
Website:
www.roadchef.com
Twitter: @roadchef
TellYouGov Rating

Roadchef is the smallest of the biggest 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.

Roadchef Today

Clacket Lane restaurants.
The refurbished open-plan but disorganised seating that Roadchef have placed in previously claustrophobic services.

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.

Refurbishments

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.

History

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.

Logo History

Roadchef's first logo used a mug and a chef's hat, all in red. It would sometimes be accompanied by the slogan "serves the traveller". On amenity buildings, the company name would be written in gold/beige.

Roadchef's logo was then changed to a motorway symbol wearing a chef's hat. The company name would be written in exactly the same font.

In 1984 a whole new logo was introduced, which for the first time emphasised that "RoadChef" is two words. The 'Road' was written in light blue and the 'Chef' in dark red, each word with a large capital letter that looked like it was about to eat the following three letters.

This was simplified in 1989, when the text was made entirely red and a red border was introduced. Spin-off brands RoadShop and RoadLodge were proposed in the same style. Evidence of this logo can still be found, if you know where to look.

In 2001, another significant change was made, this time writing the company name entirely in lower case and adding a swirl below. The corporate branding began to insist that 'Roadchef' was one word again. In around 2013, the background for this logo was changed from red to grey.

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.

Roadchef Services

Full details: List of Roadchef services

A list of services ran by Roadchef can be found at this page, or you can view them on a map.

Former Services

The following services were owned by Roadchef:

Unbuilt Services

The following services were planned by Roadchef but they were never built:

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