Popeyes UK rollout ramps up with new sites announced & drive-thrus confirmed

Following a recent announcement that a cluster of new sites were due to open before year end, Popeyes UK is once again going for growth as it reveals Cambridge, Croydon and Reading will be the next locations to experience its ‘Famous Louisiana Chicken’ in early 2023.

Its next round of restaurant openings will see Popeyes UK start to build its presence across the UK, with sites due to launch in early 2023 in Rotherham, Cardiff and Glasgow. Elsewhere, the brand is gearing up to open Reading and Croydon, as well as Cambridge, following the runaway success of its Oxford restaurant.

The record-breaking Oxford opening day saw hungry customers forming a queue around the block from 5am, and people arriving at the restaurant to join it straight from their nights out.

Popeyes UK’s first foray into the Midlands in October saw similar success levels, with its Nottingham opening breaking the records that Oxford previously set and, over in Derby, customers queuing from 10:30pm the night before launch.

Tom Crowley, CEO at Popeyes UK, commented, “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 are being received right across the UK.

“As well as the new high street restaurants and delivery kitchens, we’re also very excited to announce that in 2023, we’ll be opening a raft of drive-thru locations, with the first likely to be in Rotherham at Parkgate Shopping Park. Consumer demand has been high for a drive-thru ever since we landed in the UK, so it feels like a real milestone for us.

“We’ve carefully planned our site acquisition strategy in line with where we’re seeing most demand from our customers, and it’s great to see it coming to life. We’re working at pace currently on opening our Liverpool, Brighton and Leicester branches before the end of the year – but we always have one eye on the future and are looking forward to continuing sharing our expansion plans.”

Overall, Popeyes UK is expected to open 20 restaurants in 2023, which brings the total number of UK restaurants to 31 by the end of 2023. Its latest site in Ealing – opened to the public on 5 November – created its own fireworks breaking all previous open day sales records. Popeyes UK headquarters will be stationed directly above the Ealing restaurant.

Chicken fans further afield in the capital are also in luck, as the brand is due to open a duo of new delivery kitchens thanks to ongoing demand on its existing kitchens in Maida Vale, Bermondsey, Whitechapel and Battersea. The two new kitchens will open in Brent Cross and Dulwich later this month.

Popeyes was founded in New Orleans in 1972 and now boasts over 3,700 restaurants globally – with the UK Stratford site being its highest-performing in the portfolio. The UK represents the 11th new market for Popeyes across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where the chain has already opened hundreds of new sites as part of its global expansion.

Since launching in November 2021, Popeyes UK has opened seven restaurants across the breadth of the country and four delivery kitchens in Greater London. It recently announced that it is due to open a further six, and is expected to have created a further 1,000 careers in the hospitality and construction sectors before the end of 2022.