The Worthing branch was a former Little Chef restaurant located on the eastbound side of the A27 near Worthing, West Sussex
Address and Onsite Information
ADDRESS: A27 Eastbound, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3EU
ONSITE FACILITIES: Ethical Group Parking
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 small standalone site, located on the eastbound side of the busy A27 just outside of Worthing. Although Worthing was one of Happy Eater's smaller sites, due to the fact that there was nothing else trading alongside the restaurant, the busy A27 still made the restaurant very popular and due to a number of factors such as the lack of alternative options nearby and the amount of travellers and holidaymakers visiting the nearby seaside towns of Brighton and Worthing popping in for a bite to eat, it was a common place to stop.
Compared to most other Happy Eater restaurants operating in the UK, the Worthing branch was one of the more unique sites. The reason being was because it was housed in a building made out of local stone, therefore it was a branch which stood out.
By the mid 90s, Forte, who acquired Happy Eater in 1986, decided that they were going to phase out a majority of the Happy Eater brand and replace it with the more profitable Little Chef brand in which they also owned. Worthing was one of the sites to recieve the treatment and transformed from Happy Eater to Little Chef in 1996/97.
By 2004, then owners, Permira, were keen to sell Little Chef and, to make it more saleable, decided to slim down Little Chef's portfolio, putting 131 sites up for sale including Worthing. It closed in 2004 and today, it operates as a base for the Ethical Group, a parking firm.