Popeyes: Fried chicken giant set to bring drive-thru restaurants to the UK in ‘huge’ expansion

Popeyes is hoping to open another 21 stores across the UK, with drive-thru restaurants and a number of delivery kitchens also in the works

Popeyes is planning a huge expansion with another 21 stores to open across the UK over the next year, including a number of drive-thru restaurants. The huge fried chicken chain opened its first UK branch in London in 2021, and has since popped up in Nottingham, Oxford and Gateshead.

The chain has been gaining serious traction on our shores ever since, with some fans hailing it as ‘better than KFC’. Eager customers queued for 11 hours before the opening of Popeyes’ Nottingham branch earlier this year to get their hands on the chain’s Louisiana-style fried chicken and gravy.

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According to LadBible, the chain now has its sights set on Cambridge, Croydon and Reading with stores due to open there in early 2023. These will be followed by new branches in Rotherham, Cardiff and Glasgow.

A number of delivery kitchens are also in the pipeline, which will be located in the Dulwich and Brent Cross areas of London and will join existing kitchens in Battersea, Bermondsey, Maida Vale and Whitechapel. On top of all that, the chain is planning on opening a few drive-thru locations along the way - it’s rumoured that Rotherham’s Parkgate Shopping Park will operate the first drive-thru.

Tom Crowley, CEO at Popeyes UK, said: "There is a pattern emerging now at all our openings with people queuing through the night to be the first in line on opening day. It’s fantastic to see how well we’re being received right across the UK.”

Other American chains hoping to expand in the UK include Wendy’s, Wingstop and Carl’s Jnr. Fast food may be more popular than ever here, but it’s a move not without its risks as customers cut back due to the cost of living crisis and inflation hits 11.1%.

The new restaurants will also be up against McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King which have been staples in the UK fast food scene for decades.