Starbucks Coffee Company UK has fortified its roadside presence, acquiring a Little Chef site to convert to its third “drive-to” outlet.

The acquisition of the property, which is in Chiswell Green, St Albans, comes a day after the group unveiled its first drive-through outlet in the UK, in Cardiff.

The group, led by Phi Broad, has drive-to outlets on the A3 at Wisley and on the A23 near Croydon.

The St Albans roadside property was acquired in a deal brokered by Christie & Co.

It is thought the company plans to acquire and open more drive-to and drive-through outlets.

The drive-through model, pioneered by US fast-food operators, has been adopted by Starbucks and Subway.

It is also thought that Costa Coffee is close to securing its first UK drive-through location.