Opened in 1996/97, the Little Chef at Kettering West was the first restaurant to be built on the newly constructed A14 link road between the M1 and A1. It was built on one half of a dual sided service station and was positioned alongside a busy filling station and lodge which presented a great oppurtunity for Little Chef to attract additional custom from these facilities . In 1998, Kettering West was joined by its partner in crime Kettering East which was built on the eastbound side of the A14 in order to serve eastbound traffic.
The Little Chef at Kettering West was housed inside of a rather unique building which differs to most other Little Chef sites. This restaurant was positioned inside of a large building with a pitched grey-pan tiled roof, large windows and lightly toned bricks (the more modern alternative to the pitched roof, double front design). Other Little Chef sites opening around this time such as Popham and Liphook North also had the same building design as Kettering West.
After the success of Popham, Kettering West became the third site to get "Hestonised" following Little Chef's high-profile partnership with Chef Heston Blumenthal. The site gained the Ab Rogers designed interior featuring the modern British diner decor and "Blue Sky Thinking" ceiling. It was also the second site to receive Little Chef's new branding with mascot, Fat Charlie receiving a proper chefs jacket which replaced his neckerchief on the logo. Only two sites, Kettering West and York East, received this branding as the logo was changed again after their refurbishment
Unlike Popham and York East, Kettering West was the only Hestonised Little Chef that didn't recieve a Little Chef Express.