News of the Little Chef’s ongoing demise is hitting the blogosphere again today.
First, some marketing whiz wanted to put the chubby pancake proffering cook on a diet and now its owners are left searching the highways and byways for someone to take it on.
It’s not hard to see why the roadside chain is struggling.
While there are some men of a certain age who glance with nostalgia at the £6.99 Olympic breakfast, (two rashers of bacon, two sausages, two eggs, mushrooms, saute potatoes, tomato, baked beans and toast) which their wives or heart doctors no longer allow, our changing tastes are just not attracted to those bungalows of despair.
So in the interests of any potential buyers out there, here’s my five top tips to turn the diminishing chef into a giant once more;
1. Stop making people wait until they are seated. We are on a journey. We don’t have time. Having avoided the ringmaster of seating once and sat down uninvited, I remember being ignored for about 20 minutes by the sulky waitress who decided we hadn’t been through the right system. Wrong.
2. Don’t make your toilets ‘customer only’. You are a service station – it’s part of your role to provide toilets.
3. Reduce your prices. Two drinks and two light meals should cost £10 or less.
4. Ban smoking. It’s only a pit stop – smokers can go back to their fume filled chav mobiles if they really are that desperate.
5. Hand the restaurants over to the local management. As the brilliant blogger Rusell Davies noted in this review of a former Little Chef, there is a delicious irony in a big brand turning to a independently run outfit.
Let’s hope that whoever ends up buying the 234 outlets can succeed where others have failed after all there must be a demand for anywhere that can serve more than 20 million customers a year, including 10 million cups of tea, 12 million rashers of bacon and 13 million eggs and sausages.
What’s your recipe to boost Little Chef? Let me know below.