Popeyes takes flight with £50m investment

Fast food chain Popeyes has secured a £50m investment from a private equity firm to drive its next phase of growth.

The fried chicken restaurant group has partnered with TDR Capital, which also backs the UK's largest pub group, Stonegate Pub Company.

Popeyes was founded in New Orleans in 1972 and opened its first UK restaurant in London's Stratford in November 2021. It has since expanded to 27 locations and launched its first drive-through site in Rotherham this year, which the chain said broke 'multiple sales records' across its global portfolio.

The group has also launched a UK-wide wedding catering service, today (1 August) offering its chicken sandwiches, biscuits and hot wings for up to 150 guests.

Tom Crowley, chief executive at Popeyes, said: 'We have a significant and strong pipeline of restaurants with landlords across the country recognising the opportunity of working with us and actively approaching us with good incentives. This investment allows us to fully capitalise on these opportunities.

'TDR will bring its extensive experience to our business and we look forward to partnering with the team alongside our current owners Ring International Holdings on the next phase of growth for Popeyes UK.'

Popeyes is one of a growing number of North American fast food chains targeting rapid expansion across the UK.

Burger brand Wendy's returned to the UK in 2021 after a 20-year absence and aims to have 45 sites trading by the end of the year, while Canadian coffee and doughnuts chain Tim Hortons has launched more than 70 locations since 2017.

Tom Mitchell, managing partner at TDR Capital, said the 'significant demand' for Popeyes made it an 'exciting, long-term investment opportunity' for the group.