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Popeyes to open new UK store offering free chicken but warns of 'overnight queues'


Popeyes, the US fast-food giant known for its famous Louisiana chicken, has set its sights on Kent as part of its ambitious expansion plans.

The chain, which debuted in the UK in November 2021, is set to open in Dartford, alongside other locations such as Watford, Wimbledon, Nottingham Teal and Merry Hill.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the opening of Popeyes’ 50th UK restaurant in Glasgow.

The rapid expansion of Popeyes has taken the UK by storm, with CEO Tom Crowley revealing that the brand has experienced a staggering 125 percent year-on-year growth between May 2023 and May 2024.

This remarkable success is evident in the overnight queues witnessed at almost every new Popeyes opening, including a memorable instance in Cardiff where a dedicated chicken enthusiast camped out overnight in his pyjamas to seize a year’s worth of free chicken.

Crowley, commenting on the brand’s meteoric rise, stated: “In just 30 months, our remarkable Popeyes UK team has secured a pipeline of 50 top-tier new sites, including our first ever Northern Irish location which opens in Belfast very soon.”

He further added: “Currently, Popeyes UK is the fastest-growing chicken QSR brand in the UK, with a 125 percent year-on-year growth from May 2023 to May 2024.

“The sustained demand for Popeyes in the UK is incredible, but not unexpected”, reports Kent Live.

In addition to the Kent branch, Popeyes is set to fire up its fryers in a second location in both Aberdeen and Luton, a third location in Manchester, and for the first time, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

These openings are projected to create a whopping 2,000 new jobs, further solidifying Popeyes’ position as a dominant player in the UK’s competitive fast-food landscape.

“We’ve seen overnight queues for almost every opening since our UK launch in 2021, with fried chicken fans turning up to queue over 24 hours before the opening of new Popeyes restaurants. We remain committed to our expansion plans and look forward to achieving new milestones in the upcoming years.”

Popeyes has quickly become a massive hit with fried chicken aficionados throughout the UK, who are eager to sample the much-lauded Louisiana flavours.

Since its arrival on British shores, the brand’s offerings have been met with the same fervour that saw their chicken sandwich cause a sensation online in the US back in 2019.

Popeyes has even attracted a slew of celebrity admirers, including Megan Thee Stallion, who partnered with them to create the ‘Hottie’ hot sauce.

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