Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: A3 Northbound, Wisley, Guildford, Surrey, GU23 6PT
ONSITE FACILITIES: BP, M&S Simply Food (forecourt), Wild Bean Cafe (forecourt), Starbucks
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Little Chef grew significantly all over Britain's road network under the ownership of Forte who were a well respected company. With numerous restaurants opening each year in this era at various different A-road and motorway sites all over the UK, other roadside operators, soon realised the success of the chain's expansion and therefore decided to increase the presence of their own roadside restaurant brands, one of which was Happy Eater, a chain which offered a similar fare to Little Chef. Like Little Chef, Happy Eater saw a significant growth in restaurants all over Britain's A-roads and motorways and one of the sites which they operated from was a fairly large service station, located on the northbound side of the busy A3 just outside of Wisley. The restaurant was built as one half of a dual sided Happy Eater site with Wisley South, located opposite on the southbound side, making up the other half. Both restaurants were built alongside filling stations, which complimented the Happy Eater brand and helped to attract a larger audience.
By the mid 90s, Forte, who acquired Happy Eater in 1986, decided that it was going to phase out the Happy Eater brand and replace it with the more profitable Little Chef brand which they also owned. Both of the Wisley Sites recieved the treatment with both restaurants changing to Little Chef by 1997.
Sadly, in 2007, Little Chefs parents, who by now were People's Restaurant Group, hit financial problems and the brand was taken by new owners, venture capitalists R Capital. Not all the sites transferred over and Wisley North was one of the 41 to be closed in 2007.
However, this was not the end for the Little Chef as it reopened as a Starbucks branch. The Starbucks is still operating today and the southbound Little Chef soldiered on for a further 10 years until it became another Starbucks.