The Towcester East branch is a current Little Chef restaurant located on the A43 near Towcester, Northamptonshire.
Opened in 1988/89, Towcester East was built as one half of a dual sided Little Chef site with Towcester West, located on the opposite side of the carriageway, making up the other half of the duo. Both were identical twins in terms of the buildings as they had both sported the pitched roof, double front design, the typical Little Chef house design of the late 80s to mid 90s. Also, both were positioned alongside filling stations which complimented the Little Chef brand to help attract a larger audience.
However out of the two, Towcester East proved to be the better site. For starters, Towcester East is located at a roundabout site, meaning that all traffic can easily access the site compared to Towcester West in which only westbound traffic could access its site. Also, Towcester East was given a Travelodge hotel, meaning that although it was useful for serving tired travellers, it did also give the Little Chef the potential to attract even more custom to the site, especially when it came to hotel guests needing to find a place to eat breakfast at. It was fairly obvious that Towcester East had won overall as Towcester West Little Chef closed between 2003 and 2006. There is one possible theory to why Towcester West was the casualty out of the two besides all of the other points:
- Because Towcester East is located at a roundabout site which is before the Towcester West Little Chef, it was likely that westbound traffic had reached East first, meaning that West may've suffered a loss in potential custom and therefore a loss in sales and profit, meaning that West couldn't go on any longer.
Happily though, Towcester West Little Chef became a branch of Buddies USA, a chain of American diners in the Midlands.
Back in early 1990s, Forte had built an extension to the Little Chef in order to house a Coffee Stop outlet. This was later replaced with Granada Shop in the late 1990s when Granada took over Little Chef. Granada Shops were rarely the replacements of Coffee Stop outlets as it was mostly Burger King who had replaced the Coffee Stops at various Little Chef sites.
Today, Towcester East Little Chef is still happily operating. Recently, a McDonald's restaurant was built alongside the Little Chef and where many Little Chef sites have died out due to neighbouring McDonald's restaurants doing better, the McDonald's at Towcester East doesn't seem to have affected the trade of the Little Chef in any way.