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Loungers to open new roadside restaurant brand

The Business Magazine article image for: Loungers to open new roadside restaurant brand
7 November 2022

Loungers, the Bristol-headquartered nationwide operator of all day café-bars and restaurants under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands, is launching a new roadside restaurant brand, Brightside.

Loungers has acquired three sites initially, the first of which is set to open on the A38, south of Exeter next February. Further sites will open on the A303 near Honiton, and on the A38 near Saltash, in the spring.

The company has ambitious plans to roll out Brightside across the UK with sites located predominantly on A-roads, and will in a sector increasingly dominated by drive-through and QSR (quick service restaurant) concepts in recent years. 

Brightside will offer classic, comfort food-style dishes - including a brunch menu, burgers, pizzas, and kids' menu - in "nostalgic" surroundings. 

Alex Reilley, Founder Chairman of Loungers, 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 formats.

"Brightside will have a contemporary, welcoming, and warm feel, whilst also evoking nostalgia for a time when motoring in the UK was a more exciting experience. 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. Our expertise in high-quality, great value all-day dining, developed through Lounge and Cosy Club, gives us confidence that Brightside can bring proper hospitality back to roadside dining across the UK."  

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. These initial three Brightside openings fall within these forecast new site opening numbers. Loungers recently opened its 210th site - Barco Lounge in Selby - on Saturday 5 November.


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Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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