The move, announced today, is reported to lead to the loss of between 500 and 600 jobs as 67 of its 161 sites are to close. The sites scheduled for closure have been making a loss for some years, due to a combination of ‘economic and locational factors,” the company said.  

Little Chef was rescued from the jaws of bankruptcy in 2007 when RCapital bought the majority of the company’s stores and assets after it fell in to administration. 

RCapital chairman Graham Sims said: “When we acquired Little Chef four years ago we inherited a number of sites with leases that were uncompetitive.

“Despite very hard work from some very committed colleagues we have been unable to lift the performances of these sites to a level where they are viable.

A number of Little Chef sites were also privy to a revamp of sorts by chef Heston Blumenthal in 2008 as part of a Channel 4 show. The scientist-chef’s influence – he’s well know for his wacky and eccentric food, such as bacon and egg flavoured ice cream – is to play a part in the Little Chef’s New Concept, the stated revamp plan.