Little Chef menu, 1970
Sam Alper, famous for Sprite Caravans, started Little Chef back in 1958. The first restaurant in Reading was little more than a shack, but the chain grew strongly and the restaurants improved throughout 1960s. This is the menu from the Little Chef in Reading from 1970. By then Little Chef was owned by Trust House Forte, the hotel chain.
As this was just before decimalisation, prices were in pounds, shillings and pence, as well as the new decimal currency.
Here are a few nostalgic treats from the 1970 menu:
Crumbed fish fillet
For 5s or 25p you could have 'Crumbed fish fillet with lemon and French fried potatoes'. There was also a healthy salad garnish served with it, but no veg. I love the crinkle cut chips.
Or for 8s 6d or 42½p (remember the half penny?) there was the Chef's grill: sausage, 'steaklet', fried egg, tomato and chips.
Something of a luxury in this era was the gammon steak served with a fried egg and chips.
I used to love Little Chef's pancakes. They have been doing them for a long time. This is a fluffy American pancake with ice cream and chocolate source.
How to make a fruit salad look exciting. Add ice cream and a couple of wafers.
The first time I came across a Little Chef was during a camping holiday with my parents in the New Forest in the hot summer of 1976. I was a great fan of their plaice and chips. In the 1980s, I always made a point at stopping at Little Chefs for plaice and chips, followed by ice cream.
Let us know your memories of Little Chef in the past.
Article by Steven Braggs, April 2014
"I worked for Little Chef in the late 80s and most of the 90s at various sites in Yorkshire. Sinderby unit 118 Boroughbridge North unit 015 Shipton York unit number 344 and Boroughbridge South unit number 251
I have to admit it was the best job iv ever had there staff training was first class and the restaurants were always clean and i ghought friendly and fun. I made some of my bestest friends at Little Chef and had the most memorable times of my life working there. Daytrips allnight stop outs seaside trips at midnight. We would finish work at 10pm and by 12 midnight would be on the beach in Blackpool it was simply the best times and i often look back snd think about them times. What happened and i wonder where those people are now my wonderfull friends from Little Chef..
." niel driver 31/08/2014
"Like Neil. I also worked at Sinderby in the early 80's and my mum worked at Boroughbridge. I then went on to work at Weyhill, Little Bentley, Hornchurch and East Horndon before becoming a regional Staff Trainer. A great company under Trusthouse Forte with excellent training and standards. Happy days" Adrian Atkins 21/07/2015
"Who worked at the weyhill service station on the A303 working for little chef?" Andrew 18/06/2018
"Looking to collect a few LC items form the 1980s.
I joined in 1981 and finally left in 1996
Anybody have anything to spare?" John Hampson 31/08/2018
"Andrew, as stated in my previous post I worked at Weyhill for a short time in 1980. The manager at that time was a firm but fair Italian man called Antillio Brille. His deputy was a lady called Joy. I'm afraid that the other staff names escape me but I do have a photo of Weyhill from that time.
John Hampson - I have some memorabilia from that period and lots of stories and anecdotes
If either of you two guys want to contact me you can do so on
firstname.lastname@example.org" Adrian Atkins 06/01/2020