Pizza Express is to open a restaurant at a Welcome Break service station in Oxford.
The CEO of Welcome Break has hailed the opening as strengthening the choice of service it offers to its customers.
Parallels can be drawn here to a many more restaurants opening in retail parks and shopping centres with the aim to encourage dwell time and spending money.
A restaurateur opening at a service station would be advised to carry out its legal due diligence in the usual way. In particular, it should consider some important factors like signage (the position of its sign both at the service station and on the motorway alerting customers to its presence), free and uninterrupted access at all times to/from the restaurant/service station and any unusual restrictive covenants on title which could prevent the operation of its restaurant business (for example, a restriction against selling hot food from the premises).
I am excited about the prospect of Pizza Express opening in a service station and am hopeful that other restaurants will follow. In my view, a stop-off on a long journey for a salad nicoise and a portion of dough balls is a lot more enticing than a soggy sandwich!