Welcome Break

Welcome Break

Infobox Company
company_name = Welcome Break
company_type = Private
foundation = 1960
location = Newport Pagnell, England, UK
key_people = Rod McKie, CEO
area_served = United Kingdom
industry = Hospitality
products = 26 service stations
revenue = £630m
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees = 4,500
parent = Appia Investments
subsid =
homepage = [http://www.welcomebreak.co.uk Welcome Break]
footnotes =

Welcome Break is a company which operates twenty-six motorway service stations in the UK. It is the second largest motorway service area operator behind Moto.


Opened in 1960, the service area at Newport Pagnell on the M1 motorway near Milton Keynes by Motorway Services Ltd was the company's first service area under the Forte name and was only the second service area to be constructed on the fledgling UK motorway network. The company's portfolio was expanded to five motorway service areas during periods under the ownership of the Imperial Group and subsequently the Hanson Trust before being purchased by Trusthouse Forte in 1986. Under this deal, the Welcome Break name was adopted across the entire estate, with Trusthouse Forte's sixteen existing service areas re-branded as Welcome Break.

plit from Trusthouse Forte

In January 1996, the Forte Group was the subject of a £3.9 billion hostile takeover by the British media group Granada. Due to Granada's existing major presence in the motorway services market, a subsequent investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission ordered Granada to sell 27 of the Welcome Break sites. The company was eventually bought by Investcorp in 1997 for £476mCite web |url=http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2008/03/28/319942/motorway-services-provider-welcome-break-sold.html |title=Motorway services provider Welcome Break sold |publisher=Caterer Search |accessdate=2006-07-11] . Investcorp then sold Welcome Break to Appia Investments in March 2008 for £500mRef] .


The facilities available at Welcome Break service areas varies at each site, with each site open 24 hours a day throughout the year. Typically, each service area comprises a cafe or restaurant, a retail outlet, a hotel and a petrol station. Eateries may include KFC, Burger King, Eat In restaurant or Coffee Primo. Petrol stations may be either Shell or BP. The majority of hotels at Welcome Break service areas are franchises of Days Inn; there are a small number of hotels branded as Welcome Lodge.


Recently, Welcome Break service areas have followed the industry-wide trend towards partnership with High Street brands. In May 2006, a branch of the international coffeehouse chain Starbucks was opened on a trial basis at Corley services on the M6 motorway [ [http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2006/02/20/305318/welcome-break-and-starbucks-set-for-franchise-deal.html Welcome Break and Starbucks set for franchise deal? - 20 February 2006 - CatererSearch ] ] . However, at the present time further branches of Starbucks have not been opened at other service areas and the Corley site remains unique. W H Smith stores have been introduced at the majority of Welcome Break sites as a replacement for the traditional unbranded retail outlets. Initially launched as a trial store at the Newport Pagnell site in February 2007, W H Smith stores have now been rolled out across the Welcome Break portfolio.


Welcome Break is a long-standing KFC licensee, operating KFC fast food restaurants at 24 of its service areas [ [http://www.welcomebreak.co.uk/OurBrands/Food/KFC/ Welcome Break ] ] . In May 2005, Welcome Break announced a deal with KFC designed to bypass tough UK motorway signage legislation [ [http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2005/05/26/300726/welcome-break-joins-kfc-to-bypass-ad-ban.html Welcome Break joins KFC to bypass ad ban - 26 May 2005 - CatererSearch ] ] . UK law currently prevents motorway service area operators from displaying additional brand names other than their own company name on roadside signage. In order to circumvent this restriction, a new subsidiary company "Welcome Break KFC" was registered.


Welcome Break introduced a new company logo in September 2006. The swan, integral to the previous company logo, has been removed. The new logo features a black background with the words 'welcome' and 'break' in green and white respectively. Each site now also has a large mural depicting a local landmark unique to that site.

ee also

* RoadChef
* Moto
* Extra
* Motorway service station


External links

* [http://www.welcomebreak.co.uk Welcome Break]
* [http://motorwayservicesonline.co.uk/operators/welcomebreak/ Motorway Services Online - Welcome Break]

News items

* [http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/leisure/article3642849.ece "Times" article March 2008]

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