Popeyes to open first UK standalone eatery in Essex

Following its Westfield Stratford opening – which saw thousands of fans queuing to get a first taste of its famous Louisiana fried chicken menu - Popeyes UK, the master franchise for Britain, has today revealed the location of its next site.

Opening in the heart of Chelmsford, the new site will be the US icon’s debut standalone restaurant in the UK, allowing the brand to bring the authentic New Orleans experience to the UK.

Hungry guests will be able to get their hands on all the iconic menu items already available at the Stratford restaurant - including Popeyes 12-hour marinated chicken, a key ingredient in its legendary Chicken Sandwich, and original Southern biscuits and gravy - giving them the chance to experience that world-famous ‘shatter crunch’ for themselves.

Chicken lovers travelled from all over the UK to Stratford, London in November to sample Popeyes, with guests showing up from Birmingham, Essex, and even as far north as Newcastle and York.

Hours-long queues snaked through Westfield Stratford’s food court for weeks on end, with reviews even stating that one guest had waited ‘for 35 years’ to be able to get their hands on the food again. Sales at Popeyes Stratford are now among the top ten out of over 3,600 restaurants globally.

After the huge success of its debut in November 2021, Popeyes UK is confident that its next restaurant experience will be an even bigger hit.

Tom Crowley, CEO at Popeyes UK, commented: “We’ve been blown away by the UK’s response to Popeyes, with guests queuing for hours to try it. Our legendary menu and Southern spirit have captured the capital already, and we look forward to building on that with the launch of Chelmsford.”

The new restaurant is located at 67/68 High Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1DH and will seat 46 guests.

“Chelmsford was the perfect place for our first sit-down restaurant; it’s close to London but sits at the very heart of Essex, which is such a vibrant part of the UK with a close-knit community,” added Crowley. “The team is really excited to open; we already know guests love the food, but now we have the opportunity to really showcase our Louisiana hospitality too.”

Peter Genna, director of global culinary innovation & product development for Popeyes brand, added, “It’s exciting to be opening the first UK restaurant in Chelmsford. Popeyes UK has ambitious plans to rapidly become a British staple and to never compromise on the quality that Popeyes is famous for.'

Genna, added, 'We have no doubt that Chelmsford guests will love Popeyes famous Louisiana chicken.”

Popeyes UK is aiming to open hundreds of sites across the next decade, and has also launched additional delivery kitchens with Deliveroo Editions in Battersea and Whitechapel which have seen huge take-up. Based on Deliveroo’s customer order data, Popeyes has been the most popular new restaurant launch on Deliveroo this year.

Popeyes UK’s expansion is expected to generate hundreds of new jobs across the nation, spanning critical operational roles in construction, supply chain and distribution - as well as providing a direct boost to the UK hospitality sector by hiring talent to prepare and serve Popeyes world-famous products.

With 3,600 restaurants around the world, the UK represents the 11th new market for Popeyes across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where the chain has already opened more hundreds of new sites as part of its global expansion.