A US FOOD giant has announced that it will open its first restaurant in the North East later this year after signs started popping up in the Metrocentre.

Popeyes, which was founded in New Orleans in 1972, will open its doors very soon after bright signs started appearing in the venue reading “Hey Gateshead, y’all ready for this?”

The chain, which runs 3,400 restaurants globally, only opened one of its first UK restaurants at the end of 2021 – revealing its Stratford and Romford facilities, but, already, it's branching further north following its latest announcement.

Read more: US chicken chain Popeyes to launch first UK restaurants

This revelation follows Popeye’s promise that it would open 350 UK restaurants over the next 10 years, after rapid growth in continental Europe in recent 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.

The Northern Echo: This sign from Popeyes popped up in Metrocentre Gateshead. Picture: METROCENTRE.This sign from Popeyes popped up in Metrocentre Gateshead. Picture: METROCENTRE.

Popeyes said it plans to use a raft of channels including delivery and takeaway now it has launched in the UK.

It is the latest in several international fast-food chains to reveal plans to grow in the UK, coming weeks after Philippines-based chicken chain Jollibee revealed its growth strategy, while US burger chain Wendy’s has also said it is eying a raft of further UK openings.

The Northern Echo: Metrocentre. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO.Metrocentre. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO.

It’s not yet known when Popeye’s will be opening in Gateshead.

However, Metrocentre posted on social media on Sunday (June 5) – confirming the food chain was going to be arriving.

The post read: “Popeyes, y'all ready for this? Louisiana's mouth-watering crunch and juicy fried chicken is coming to Gateshead.”


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