The unofficial motorway services thread

Philip
Posts: 1152
Joined: Fri 22 Feb, 2008 21.23
Location: Merseyside
Contact:

I recently visited an Extra service station and it was very nice but, that logo is definitely designed to look as similar to McDonald’s isn’t it? (It had a Burger King).

Image
Image
User avatar
Pete
Posts: 7606
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

Philip wrote: Mon 27 Feb, 2023 18.56 I recently visited an Extra service station and it was very nice but, that logo is definitely designed to look as similar to McDonald’s isn’t it? (It had a Burger King).

Image
Do we have an official thread on motorway services? I want to go on about how wonderful Tebay is after I finally managed to stop off at both southbound and northbound this week
"He has to be larger than bacon"
all new Phil
Posts: 1988
Joined: Sun 13 Feb, 2005 00.04
Location: Next door to Hell

Pete wrote: Thu 02 Mar, 2023 08.14
Philip wrote: Mon 27 Feb, 2023 18.56 I recently visited an Extra service station and it was very nice but, that logo is definitely designed to look as similar to McDonald’s isn’t it? (It had a Burger King).

Image
Do we have an official thread on motorway services? I want to go on about how wonderful Tebay is after I finally managed to stop off at both southbound and northbound this week
I love Tebay!

Also - are the Extra services not McDonalds? I’ve always assumed they are given how similar the logos are. Now I don’t know what to believe about anything any more.
User avatar
WillPS
Posts: 2491
Joined: Tue 22 Apr, 2008 18.32
Location: Carlton
Contact:

all new Phil wrote: Thu 02 Mar, 2023 08.25
Pete wrote: Thu 02 Mar, 2023 08.14
Philip wrote: Mon 27 Feb, 2023 18.56 I recently visited an Extra service station and it was very nice but, that logo is definitely designed to look as similar to McDonald’s isn’t it? (It had a Burger King).

Image
Do we have an official thread on motorway services? I want to go on about how wonderful Tebay is after I finally managed to stop off at both southbound and northbound this week
I love Tebay!

Also - are the Extra services not McDonalds? I’ve always assumed they are given how similar the logos are. Now I don’t know what to believe about anything any more.
Extra are weird. Unlike the other major MSA brands (Moto, Welcome Break, Roadchef), they don't tend to run their own restaurants, they operate more like a shopping centre operator where they just lease the space out.

As such there's not much consistency site to site in terms of offeer.

In fact - as I found when I visited the new Leeds services on the M1 (totem pictured) - some of the units (Harry Ramsdens, KFC and I think BK) are actually run by Welcome Break!
Image
User avatar
Andrew Wood
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 23.24
Location: Location: Location
Contact:

Had the pleasure of visiting the Leeds Extra only last Saturday and very impressive it was too. Spotlessly clean.

As for Tebay, definitely the services of choice when heading to Scotland, though I think it's started to lose a little of the charm it had back at the turn of the millennium - before even the South services has opened.

Occasionally we park up and go have a bite to eat and a pint in their hotel just behind the overflow carpark.
cwathen
Posts: 1322
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

I also assumed Extra had to be something to do with McDonald's, mainly because the only one I ever drive past is on the M5 at Cullompton where McDonald's is and always has been the main food offering ever since it opened and the similarity in logos seems pretty clear. Whilst I wouldn't want to use a term like 'hidden gem', Cullompton Services is a hidden gem. It's a curious little single-site MSA that is only signposted northbound out of fears that it is too small and the access too poor to have traffic from both directions stopping there. Instead southbound traffic is signed to push on to the much larger Moto site at Exeter even though you can access Cullompton southbound and in peak holiday season if you do just want to quickly grab some fast food it's far easier to get it there than use the Maccies as Taunton Deane or the BK at Exeter which can quickly get rammed.
thegeek
Posts: 879
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

Shows how long since I've been on a road trip that I don't think I've ever seen an Extra before.

Just been reading about them, and slightly baffled by the economics of them renting out space to their competitors. Apparently Moto rent space in quite a few of them too.

This thread obviously requires a link to Motorway Services Online, the definitive source on the subject.
Philip
Posts: 1152
Joined: Fri 22 Feb, 2008 21.23
Location: Merseyside
Contact:

This is the one I visited - I didn't realise it's only a couple of years old. The second floor has an RSPB viewing deck.

https://motorwayservices.uk/Gallery:Leeds_Skelton_Lake

What was Harry Ramsden's is now something called "The Good Breakfast", and the former Sourced Market is still empty.
Image
cwathen
Posts: 1322
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

thegeek wrote: Sat 04 Mar, 2023 13.21 and slightly baffled by the economics of them renting out space to their competitors. Apparently Moto rent space in quite a few of them too.
Well I guess the upside to doing it is Moto then are responsible for employment, stock, ops costs, support, maintenance and logistics. With a small network of MSAs, many of which are hundreds of miles away from the next one they may find it difficult and costly to support this on the ground if they were directly operating everything.

It may also be the case with some of the branded franchises that the franchisor is more comfortable with an experienced franchisee who has already demonstrated they can effectively operate their format. Greggs for instance doesn't use franchising as a main business model but more dip their toe into it. They only franchise where it would be very difficult/impossible for them to open a corporate store, they don't do small scale franchises of a few shops (whereas Maccies are happy to have franchisees with only a single location) and they are very cautious about taking on new franchisees (they only have 14 in total). It is very possible that Extra is considered too small to be a Greggs franchisee and their sites wouldn't have Greggs if Moto wasn't operating it for them. This may not be a unique case.

This way they get to promote an enhanced offering to drive footfall onto bits they do directly operate and a kickback from Moto for the bits they don't. I imagine the incentive for Moto is that if Extra were ever to sell out they are best placed to take the sites over if they're already operating large parts of them any way.
User avatar
WillPS
Posts: 2491
Joined: Tue 22 Apr, 2008 18.32
Location: Carlton
Contact:

I think it's just a business model/risk appetite thing for Extra. Their income is lower but more guaranteed and with less liabilities.

Although McDonalds do have some single-site franchisees their model is usually to only let new franchisees buy company-owned sites which have already become established, often targeting local managers to buy them out.
Philip wrote: Sat 04 Mar, 2023 14.15 This is the one I visited - I didn't realise it's only a couple of years old. The second floor has an RSPB viewing deck.

https://motorwayservices.uk/Gallery:Leeds_Skelton_Lake

What was Harry Ramsden's is now something called "The Good Breakfast", and the former Sourced Market is still empty.
The Good Breakfast is the brand Welcome Break use to serve breakfast from Harry Ramsdens kitchens and counters - according to the wonderful Motorway Services Online it seems all the Welcome Break Harry Ramsdens closed at the end of August, not long after I visited Leeds Skelton. Bit weird to just serve fried breakfasts out of a fish and chip counter, but it seems that's what they're doing.
Image
User avatar
Pete
Posts: 7606
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

Nandos and Pizza Express seem unusual choices for motorway services as you need to wait for your food. All the other outlets are instant serve.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
Post Reply