The Bicester branch is a current Little Chef restaurant located on the A41 near Bicester, Oxfordshire.
Housed inside of a large building with a low tiled roof, the restaurant opened as a Happy Eater in the 1980s. At this point, the UK was pretty well served with Little Chef restaurants as this was the time when the chain was increasing rapidly all over the country. Therefore, in order to give travellers a different selection of roadside restaurant chains to dine at and to increase the presence of other roadside brands on motorways and A-roads, Forte decided to increase their representation of their newly acquired Happy Eater chain as well as increasing their representation of the Little Chef chain. Thus, Bicester was one of the sites chosen by Forte to recieve a Happy Eater restaurant. Bicester was probably one of Happy Eater's busiest sites for a couple of reasons. For starters, it was positioned alongside a filling station and this made the site a good bet as it should help to attract extra custom to the restaurant. Also, being very close to the town of Bicester, there was always the chance of attracting locals to the restaurant as well as traffic on the main A41 road.
In the 1990s, Forte came to a conclusion that out of Little Chef and Happy Eater, Little Chef seemed to be more profitable than Happy Eater and seemed to be more popular too. As a result, some of the Happy Eater restaurants in the estate were converted into Little Chef restaurants by Forte and Granada between 1993 and 1997. The Happy Eater at Bicester was one of the first to recieve the treatment and became a Little Chef between 1993 and 1995.
A few years after the opening of Bicester, Little Chef was placed in the hands of Granada. During their ownership of Little Chef, Granada were famous for rolling out Burger King outlets at Little Chef sites and Bicester was one of many to recieve a BK outlet in the Granada era. BK's were positive in some ways as they helped to attract extra custom to Little Chefs as well as giving travellers a second restaurant option. The BK continues to trade to this day unlike some others which closed in the mid 2000s.
In 2006, Bicester recieved a Coffee Tempo! outlet. However, this was gone by 2011.
Today, Bicester is still operating and is one of the 73 Little Chef sites remaining. The Burger King is also still proving to be successful.