The acclaimed restaurant chain says it sees Britain as the next big opportunity as it looks to open more UK sit-down branches as well as drive-through and takeaway options
US chicken restaurant Popeyes will open its first UK store in London, The Mirror can reveal.
The store will open at the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, in the east of the capital this November.
The branch will be 1,531 sq ft, and was formerly a KFC restaurant.
The company – which first opened in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1972 – said it sees Britain as the “next big opportunity”.
It’s famed for its chicken sandwiches, with its secret recipe including marinating chicken for 12 hours in locally-inspired seasonings.
The fried chicken chain is owned by Burger King.
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Popeyes UK chief executive Tom Crowley said: “It’s fantastic to be opening our first UK location, following the months of anticipation and buzz that the news of our arrival generated.
“Our vision for our UK launch is ambitious and bold, and we felt a shared sense of purpose with Westfield Stratford City when we were on the hunt for our first restaurant. We are confident that they are the perfect partner to help us kick-start our entry into the UK market.”
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Popeyes said it will unveil more sites in the UK soon.
“We’re looking forward to unveiling our next sites in due course, and revealing more about our expansion into new locations in 2022 and beyond,” Crowley said.
Popeyes will open sit-down fast food restaurants and drive-through ones, according to its chief development officer Tom Byng.
Popeyes already has 350 branches in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Overall it has 3,400 restaurants in 25 countries.
In the US, the menu also includes boneless chicken, cajun crispy shrimp, popcorn shrimp, flounder sandwiches, family feasts, sides and more.
As of yet, the UK menu has not been announced.
Previously Elias Diaz Sese, co-founder of Popeyes UK said that the UK expansion could create hundreds of jobs.
He said: “It’s difficult to say exactly what the scale will be right now, but we are looking to create hundreds of jobs in the restaurants and in the supply chain.”
Elias said: “We can’t confirm anything yet but we are most probably looking at opening a flagship site in London.
“There are great locations for opening across the country and we are looking at our options right now.
“We are definitely looking at both busy city centre locations and neighbourhood high streets.”
Reportedly, both home delivery and takeaway will also be available when the brand launches in Britain.
The expansion to UK shores follows American diner chain’s Wendy’s – which has returned to high streets for the first time in 21 years .
The popular chain, which shut its last remaining British branch in 1999, has now opened a store in Reading.
Wendy’s, which is the third largest burger chain in the world after McDonald’s and Burger King, already has 6,700 outlets in 30 countries around the world.
It joins fresh competition from American rivals Five Guys and Shake Shack which have emerged in the UK in the past decade.