|Location||Winterbourne Zelston, Bere Regis|
The Bere Regis branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the A31 near Bere Regis, Dorset.
Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: Red Post Services, A31, Winterbourne Zelston, Bere Regis, Dorset, DT11 9EX
FACILITIES: BP, Londis (forecourt), EG Diner, Subway
The services first opened in the 1980s and was home to a filling station and a Happy Eater restaurant which was housed inside of a large building with a low tiled roof and shared a similar building design to other Happy Eater sites such as Kennford North and Bicester. The duo of facilities made up the Red Post service area which gained its name from a crossroad nearby which had a red fingerpost at it which was often used in navigation when prisoners were being transported from Dorchester Prison to Poole. The prison wardens would've been told to "turn right at the red fingerpost" when transporting the prisoners.
Along with Happy Eater, Little Chef was also a roadside chain which was growing around the UK. Out of the two, then owners Forte saw that Little Chef had a lot more branches than Happy Eater and seemed to make a lot of money too, thus between the early to late 90s, all existing Happy Eater sites were converted into Little Chefs by Forte and by 1997, Bere Regis Happy Eater had joined the Little Chef portfolio. The Little Chef happily traded on.
In its Little Chef guise, Bere Regis seemed to be a decent Little Chef site. Although it is positioned miles away from the nearest town in a rural area, the Little Chef still manages to attract a lot of passing traffic everyday, especially the holidaymakers who often use the A31 when travelling to the western coasts for a summer break. The filling station next door also contributes into helping attract a larger audience to the Little Chef.
In August 2014, the Little Chef was joined by a Subway outlet as part of Kout's plan to replace Little Chef Express.
In 2017, Euro Garages took over the Little Chef chain and throughout the year, a majority of the restaurants were converted into brands such as Starbucks and Subway. By January 2018, only half of the Little Chef restaurants remaining were converted, leaving around 35 to 40 Little Chefs still trading. Due to Euro Garages being unable to use the Little Chef name after 31st January 2018, they had to think of an option to quickly convert the remaining restaurants. This was when EG Diner was born and Bere Regis was one of the first of these to open. Whereas most EG Diners are just unbranded Little Chefs with the EG Diner menu, Bere Regis is the first EG Diner to have both branding and menu. The remaining Little Chefs are expected to follow the same path, although some will only be open for a short period of time, as they have further plans to be replaced by other brands.