Petrol forecourt operator EuroGarages has taken on the leases of five former Little Chefs for conversion to coffee shops under a licensing arrangement with Starbucks. The lettings were brokered by specialist property adviser Christie & Co.

The sites — Hailsham in East Sussex, Wirral, Wansford in Cheshire, Wrexham and Worksop — form part of a move by EuroGarages to convert up to 30 former Little Chefs to trade as Starbucks’. Several of these pending sites are from Christie & Co’s instruction to market 40-plus Little Chef sites last year.

In addition to the EuroGarages deal, Christie & Co has let five further former Little Chef sites — one in Liphook, Hampshire to 23.5 Degrees for another Starbucks franchisee, and the others to independent operators for continued use as roadside restaurants or cafes. These sites are in: Oldbury, West Midlands; Dundee; Cambridge; and Five Oaks, West Sussex.

Simon Chaplin, Director and Head of Restaurants for Christie + Co, says: “EuroGarages’ letting of these, and probably further, former Little Chef sites for licensing as Starbucks indicates just how popular these sites have been to the market. It is interesting to note that roadside sites are apparently integral to Starbucks’ strategy to extend its presence on the roadside.

“It is also an indication of just how well situated the Little Chef sites were that we have received such tremendous interest in them. As well as the lettings concluded, the majority of the remaining sites are subject to agreed deals, with both corporate and independent operators across a variety of sectors and potential uses. We expect to conclude more deals in the coming weeks.”