Heston Blumenthal’s Fast-Food Franchise

Britain’s most famous chef redesigns the menu at his country’s version of HoJo’s.
heston blumenthal

Little Chef, a tired chain of fast-food restaurants strategically placed around Britain’s motorways, had fallen into decline in recent years. The solution? Call in the U.K.’s most feted chef—Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck fame—to jolly up the menus and turn the whole thing into a three-part documentary called Big Chef Takes on Little Chef. Which would have been terrific… if Blumenthal hadn’t insisted that the company start using fresh food, better ingredients, and proper cooking techniques (omelets should be made from scratch and not reheated in the microwave, for example). Despite some tension between the two sides, the pilot branch of Little Chef, on the A25 in Hampshire (about an hour southwest of London), has become such a hit that Little Chef is now “rolling out the concept” at all of its locations.

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