The new Little Chef

Venturethree has completed an overhaul of Little Chef that sees the brand adopt what the consultancy claims is a ‘Wonderfully British’ approach. And ‘Charlie the Chef’ has a new outfit too

Venturethree has completed an overhaul of Little Chef that sees the brand adopt what the consultancy claims is a ‘Wonderfully British’ approach. And ‘Charlie the Chef’ has a new outfit too

Little Chef has been trying hard to update its dowdy image ever since it was taken over by new owners in 2007. Heston Blumenthal was brought in to update its menu, the process of which was featured in a TV documentary.

Blumenthal introduced new dishes and new cooking methods in a trial modernised branch of Little Chef in Popham, Hampshire. The exercise apparently proved successful – the chain has opened nine new branches in the past year and plans 20 more.

Venturethree has, it says, tried to reposition the chain as a ‘modern British brand’ with new menus, interiors and the introduction of a take away service.

First of all, there’s the logo. Venturethree has given the Little Chef himself, known as Charlie, a new outfit and relieved him of that strange bowl of white stuff he previously bore aloft in his right hand. He no longer seems to be wearing a romper suit and instead sports an on-trend double-breasted affair (new Charlie shown top, old Charlie below).

Apparently he is also “friendlier and more refined, with new energy and purpose,” according to venturethree’s CEO and strategic director Philip Orwell. Erm, OK. Well, he certainly looks more modern (perhaps based on Heston himself?) especially when featured on these fly posters

The logotype has also changed, the upper case having been replaced by that old design consultancy standby for ‘friendliness’, the script face.

There will also be a new range of Good To Go take away food

 

A new colour scheme is designed to tie in with the British theme, featuring (as seen on the trays above) ‘mushy pea green, raspberry ripple pink, English mustard yellow and baked bean orange’.

Menus make much use of the chatty copy style made famous by Innocent to reinforce what Venturethree claims is a tone of voice rooted in British humour.

Most striking are a series of Pop Art style giant sculptures of a ketchup bottle, tea mug and lollipop (a normal size version of which kids get for finishing their meal) that will appear at various Little Chefs around the country.

They look fantastic in the renders – hopefully they’ll look just as good in a drizzly lay-by off the A303.

Venturethree worked with Ab Rogers Design and Cake on the project which also includes new interiors

Having spent some dismal times in various Little Chefs and (the horror) its one-time Happy Eater rival over the years, the overhaul (and the promise of better food) is very welcome. With half-term and a schlep to Cornwall coming up, I (and many others) will soon have the chance to see if the reality lives up to the promise of the new image.

 

CR in Print

Thanks for reading the CR Blog but if you are not getting Creative Review in print too, we think you are missing out. Our current 196-page double May issue includes the Creative Review Annual, featuring the best work of the year in advertising and graphic design. We also have an interview with David Byrne, a fascinating story on the making of the Penguin Great Food series of book covers and much more.

If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.

You may also like

corbis_silver_iris_0.jpg - Corbis Silver Iris Photography Competition - 3329

Corbis Silver Iris Photography Competition

In tandem with its sponsorship of this year’s Creative Review Photography Annual, each month for the next four months Corbis is offering photographers the opportunity to win an iPad 2 and a spot on its books, as well as the chance to have work included in our roundup of the best of this year’s photography…

ak5388_0.jpg - Anish Kapoor online - 3335

Anish Kapoor online

Brighten the Corners has designed a new website for Anish Kapoor that lets the artist’s work speak for itself

freakopolis2_0.jpg - Freaks and Geeks - 3245

Freaks and Geeks

Philadelphia-based illustrator Andy Rementer owes as much to nurturing employers as to his graphic design background

steweartleesocial388_0.jpg - Stewart Lee: the social media strategy - 3303

Stewart Lee: the social media strategy

Comedian Stewart Lee is somewhat sceptical of social media. He doesn’t do “the tweets”. His face isn’t on Facebook. Here, quite possibly, is why

planning CR

Senior Interior Designer

Planning Recruitment Ltd
Piccadilly Greetings Group CR

Graphic Designer

Piccadilly Greetings Group
Moss-Bros-CR-Staging-130x120

Digital Designer

Moss Bros
Moss-Bros-CR-Staging-130x120

Graphic Designer

Moss Bros