US fried chicken chain Popeyes to open hundreds of UK branches

US fried chicken chain Popeyes is to launch its first UK restaurant, with plans to open hundreds more branches across the country.

The KFC rival, which runs 3,400 restaurants globally, said it will welcome customers to the first branch by the end of this year.

It then aims to open 350 UK restaurants over the next 10 years.

The chain rolled out its brand into Spain and Switzerland over the past two years but said it sees the UK as its "next big opportunity" for growth.

It means Brits will soon be able to tuck into the chain's popular chicken sandwich, just to mention an example.

The chain, was founded in New Orleans in 1972, marinates its chicken for 12 hours in Louisiana seasonings.

Elias Diaz Sese, co-founder of Popeyes UK and a non-executive director at Dominos Pizza, said the expansion plan can create hundreds of new jobs.

He told the PA news agency: "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."

Mr Sese added that it's in talks over its first restaurant locations.

He 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."

Popeyes said it plans to offer both home delivery and takeaway when it launches in the UK.

The announcement comes as restaurants around the UK remain closed for dine-in, with sites able to open outdoors from April 12 at the earliest.

Other international fast food chains have also announced UK plans recently, including the American burger chain Wendy's.

Bosses first revealed Wendy's was returning to British shores in 2019, when it told investors it would open its first outlets within 12-18 months.

In 2018, Asia's answer to KFC, Jollibee, also launched in the UK.

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