New all-day roadside restaurant brand is set to open near Honiton and Exeter in 2023

A new all-day roadside restaurant brand that welcomes kids is gearing up to open near Honiton and Exeter in 2023.

Loungers, a nationwide operator of all-day café-bars and restaurants, has announced the launch of its new roadside diner brand, Brightside.

The firm recently acquired three new sites in Devon – the first is set to open on the A38, south of Exeter, in February 2023.

Further sites will open in spring 2023 on the A303 near Honiton, and on the A38 near Saltash.

Alex Reilley, Loungers founder and chairman, said: “We’ve had the itch for a while now to create a roadside restaurant concept that’s fit-for-purpose in the twenty-first century.

“For many people, the highlight of childhood road trips in days gone by was a stop at the likes of Little Chef.

“We believe there is a gap in the market for a fresh concept that gives customers the option to take a proper break and enjoy wholesome food and great hospitality, in a landscape that is currently dominated by drive-thru and QSR (quick service restaurant) formats.”

He said Brightside would have a ‘contemporary, welcoming, and warm feel’, to ‘evoke nostalgia’ for a time when motoring in the UK ‘was a more exciting experience’.

Mr Reilley said: “We want it to be an integral part of our customers’ journey-planning, and something both adults and children alike look forward to.

“We believe that Brightside will really shake up what has become an uninspiring sector and that there is potential to roll out Brightside across the UK in the coming years.”

He said he was confident the new brand ‘would bring proper hospitality back to roadside dining across the UK’.

The group said it saw ‘great potential’ to ‘reinvigorate’ roadside dining in the UK, believing the sector had ‘become tired and uninspiring’.

It believed there was scope to develop ‘a truly national brand’ revealing it has ‘ambitious plans’ to roll out Brightside to all corners of the UK in the coming years.

The sites will be situated predominantly on A-roads and will focus on delivering ‘genuine hospitality’, the group said.

Brightside plans to offer a freshly-cooked menu full of classic, comfort food-style dishes – including an extensive brunch menu, burgers, pizzas, and kids’ menu.

The roadside restaurants, in ‘nostalgic surroundings’, aim to appeal to a broad range of customers including families, locals, and UK holidaymakers.

Brightside, which falls under the same umbrella as the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, focusses on all-day dining, value for money, and ’exceptional’ service.

A spokesperson for the group said: “Brightside roadside restaurants will be friendly, warm and wholesome and will endeavour to bring back the pleasure of heading out and exploring.”

Loungers currently operates 175 Lounges and 35 Cosy Club venues around the UK. The group recently announced it was accelerating its site roll-out programme, targeting 30 new openings in the current financial year and between 32 and 34, on an ongoing basis.

The three new Brightside openings fall within the group’s forecast of site launches.

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