Address and Onsite InformationEdit
ADDRESS: A3 Southbound, Wisley, Guildford, Surrey, GU23 6PT
ONSITE FACILITIES: BP, M&S Simply Food (forecourt), Wild Bean Cafe (forecourt), ChargeMaster Electric Vehicle Charging Point, 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 southbound 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 North, located opposite on the northbound 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. It is believed that a Burger King opened alongside the Little Chef in the Granada era, but this later closed
Sadly, in 2007, Wisley South lost its northbound partner. Little Chef's 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, leaving Wisley South to venture on alone for a further 10 years.
In 2011, Wisley South was one of the 10 sites to recieve the "Wonderfully British" refurbishment. Wonderfully British was the follow-on, slightly tweaked version of the "Hestonised" site with slightly different interior finishes, new branding (Charlie lost his tray and instead had his arms open to welcome visitors) and Little Chef's new "grab and go" take-away option known as Good to Go.
In July 2017, Wisley South closed following the takeover by Euro Garages. It has since been re-opened as a Starbucks.