Roadchef

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Roadchef Motorways Ltd [1]
Private
Industry Hospitality
Founded July 1973 (July 1973)
Headquarters Norton Canes services, UK
Area served
United Kingdom except Northern Ireland
Key people
Simon Turl (CEO)
Revenue £200,000,000
Number of employees
2000+
Parent Antin IP
Website Roadchef

Roadchef is a company which operates 30 motorway service areas in 21 locations in the UK. It is the third largest motorway service area operator, behind Moto and Welcome Break and followed by Extra).[2]

In September 2014 it was announced that owners Delek Group were selling Roadchef to Antin for £153m.[3]

History[edit]

Roadchef was founded in July 1973 by Lindley Catering Investments and Galleon World Travel.[1][2] The company was originally family owned but in November 1995 was sold to a management team and its most recent change of ownership was to Antin Infrastructure Partners.[1]

Over the years Roadchef have acquired a portfolio of 21 sites. A large expansion occurred in 1998 when Roadchef agreed to purchase Blue Boar Group and Take A Break for £80 million and thus proceeded to integrate these acquisitions into an enlarged Roadchef Group. At the time, Blue Boar was the fourth largest operator of motorway services areas in the UK with three operational sites and one development site. The acquired Watford Gap site was the first motorway service area to be opened in the UK in 1959 and is one of the UK’s best known sites. A few years ago (according to Google Finance), "Roadchef Motorways was one of the largest Motorway Services Area (MSA) operators in the UK, with 21 sites representing 24% of the market and serving some 60 million visitors each year."[4]

Roadchef recently announced a multimillion-pound refurbishment programme[1] and their newly refurbished Clacket Lane services on the M25 is one of the largest sites in the UK.[citation needed]

Locations[edit]

Roadchef operate the following services:[citation needed]

Facilities[edit]

Roadchef motorway service areas have varying facilities but despite this all sites provide two hours free parking, toilets and food 24 hours a day, seven days a week.[5]

Catering[edit]

  • Hot Food Company is Roadchef's self-branded restaurant. Available at three Roadchef service areas (Clacket Lane, Sandbach and Strensham), it was designed to reflect changing customer demands as less time is spent in the restaurant. It offers similar food to Restbite, but utilises counter service as opposed to a free-flow self-service environment. This is to save space and reduce queues.[6][7]
  • The Burger Company is a self-branded fast food outlet, available at some Roadchef service areas having replaced the failing Wimpy chain. It is a quick fix until the sites are to be all refurbished to McDonald's outlet of which Roadchef is a fairly recent[when?] franchisee.[8][9]
  • McDonald's came to many Roadchef service areas as part of their £12,000,000 refurbishment plans.[1]
  • Pizza Hut Express were present at various Roadchef service areas, but now only one remains, at Strensham Northbound.[10][11]
  • A branch of the Subway sandwich chain can be found at Strensham Northbound only (in the forecourt).[12] This is their second motorway outlet.[13]
  • Courtesy of Costa, Italian coffee (along with other drinks, snacks and sandwiches/toasties) is served at all Roadchef service areas. The replacement of an own-brand coffee shop with a high street name was pioneered by Roadchef in 2007 whilst also pioneering advertising brands such as Costa on motorway signage through a legal loophole. Moto followed soon after (also using Costa) and later Welcome Break utilised Starbucks.[14][15] Roadchef are currently[when?] refurbishing and expanding their Costa outlets as part of their £12,000,000 refurbishment project.[1]
  • Soho Coffee Co was introduced to Strensham Southbound during their 2008 refurbishment.[16]

WHSmith[edit]

WHSmith originally replaced all of Moto's own-brand shops after a successful trial at Toddington and this was copied by Welcome Break and eventually Roadchef.[17]

Cotton Traders[edit]

Cotton Traders currently have 6 outlets in RoadChef services. Strensham services were the first to gain a Cotton Traders.[18][19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]