Popeyes UK Restaurant Diners Lined up From 5 a.m. on Launch Day

  • Popeyes said its Oxford site broke launch-day records, with more than 2,000 chicken sandwiches sold.
  • UK sales are booming and its Stratford site has the chain’s highest sales globally.
  • Though its UK menu doesn’t have shrimp or nuggets, it sells a plant-based, Creole-style red bean sandwich.

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Popeyes says sales are booming at its UK restaurants since it launched in the country last year.

The fried-chicken chain said that when its latest site opened in Oxford on September 17 it broke launch-day records, with people lining up from 5 a.m. and buying more than 2,000 chicken sandwiches.

The Oxford Mail reported that Popeyes opened the restaurant by offering free sandwiches to the first 50 visitors, and that some people joined the line without having gone to bed after going out the previous night.

Popeyes first launched in the UK with a counter at a food court in a shopping mall in Stratford, London, in November 2021. The chain said that the store now has the highest sales of its 3,700 restaurants worldwide.

A map showing Popeyes' current and upcoming UK restaurants

A map showing Popeyes’ current and upcoming UK restaurants. Those currently open (including ghost kitchens) are indicated in orange, while upcoming sites are purple.


Popeyes has since opened four full restaurants and four ghost kitchens, and has plans to open more. Unusually for a US fast-food chain launching in the UK, the first sites aren’t congregated in London. While some are in the capital city, others are spread out across England. None have been earmarked for Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland yet, though.

Popeyes also has signed a lease to open a 6,000-square-foot headquarters in Ealing Broadway, west London, which it said would “act as basecamp for its rapidly expanding team.” The company aims to have 350 UK restaurants by 2031.

“We’re experiencing strong sales, significantly above expectations, across all locations at the moment which is building an exciting energy in our business,” Popeyes UK CEO Tom Crowley said in a statement.

He said that the chain would open announce its first UK drive-thru sites “in due course.” 

Popeyes was credited with starting the chicken sandwich wars in 2019, when its sandwich became an instant success following huge social-media buzz. It sold out just two weeks after launch, and the chain sold 250 million of the sandwiches within its first year of launch, the company previously told Insider.

Though its UK menu doesn’t sell shrimp, chicken nuggets, rice and beans, and chocolate beignets like it does in the US, it does feature a plant-based, Creole-style red bean sandwich which isn’t available stateside.

Popeyes was the third of fast-food conglomerate Restaurant Brands International’s four fast-food chains to launch in the UK market, following both Burger King and Tim Hortons. RBI bought sandwich chain Firehouse Subs in 2021.

Across its four chains, RBI owns more than 28,000 restaurants around the world.


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