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The Uttoxeter branch is a current Little Chef restaurant located on the A50 near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.
Some Little Chefs have stories to tell and Uttoxeter is certainly one of them. Life as a Little Chef started in 1971, when then owners, Forte, had bought what was said to be an independent cafe (positioned alongside an existing filling station) and converted it into a Little Chef restaurant. From houses to independent cafes, conversions of such buildings into Little Chefs had occured all over the country within this era, the main reason being in order to expand the brand, which was small at the time, therefore the opening of the new Uttoxeter branch had helped as part of the expansion.
In the 1980s/90s, there were many changes for the site. Firstly, Uttoxeter gained a bypass in 1985 meaning that longer distance traffic was less likely to venture into the town to stop, making the Little Chef even more attractive. Between 1985 and 1987, the Little Chef was only accessible to westbound traffic on the A50. However in 1987/88, the restaurant was demolished and was relocated to a roundabout site about half a mile away, therefore it now had the ability to serve all traffic on the A50 compared to before. Meanwhile at the old site, the filling station was left to stand and today, it still operates as Shell.
The new restaurant was a lot better compared to the old one. For starters, it was housed in a more modern and up to date building compared to the old site, therefore it looked more appealing to travellers. Also in 1988, a Little Chef Lodge was built alongside the new restaurant, therefore tired travellers could be catered for, something that the old site didn't do. In 1989, the hotel was rebranded as Travelodge.
In the Granada era, a Burger King was added to the offering at Uttoxeter, giving diners an extra food option. However, in 2006 this was replaced by a Coffee Tempo outlet. The Coffee Tempo was short-lived though and was removed by 2009. It now serves as an extended dining area.
In 2013, the Travelodge on site was purchased by JCB and converted into accommodation for UK staff and overseas employees visiting the nearby headquarters.
Today, the Little Chef is still operating and is proving to be a successful site.