Motorway Services Online

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Associated names:Dr Beak's Chicken, Costa
Successors:McDonald's, The Burger Company, aCafé
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Twitter: @WimpyUK

Historic 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 standalone takeaway units took the pressure off the main restaurants by selling hamburgers and ice cream, and they were usually popular. 50 years later, external takeaway units have only just started to become a big thing at services.

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".

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 included a small choice of seating.

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

Wimpy were a common sight at larger Applegreen services in Ireland, but they now use their own branding.

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.


Wimpy used to be found at the following services: