The fried chicken restaurant, which was launched in 1972 in New Orleans, is expected to welcome customers from 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 20 at its brand new Popeyes store in Metrocente.
The North East branch will be the fourth restaurant across the UK and the first outside London – and the restaurant expects to see the same huge queues as previous openings.
Following its successful UK launch in November 2021 with stores in Romford, Chelmsford and Stratford, the Gateshead site is set to be the largest, seating 100.
As part of the opening, which will be located in Metro Qube on the ground floor of the Yellow Mall, the restaurant is offering free chicken to the first 50 customers along with bags of merchandise while the first three people will get the chance to win free chicken sandwiches for next year.
In addition, the American restaurant will host live music and children’s entertainment, including face painting.
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Neil Williamson, Chief Operating Officer of Popeyes UK, said: “I’m back in my hometown, originally from Newcastle so it’s really exciting to bring Popeyes to the North East.
“I can’t wait to get the ball rolling, to get the party started. We’re looking at the queue from around 9 a.m., and obviously we’re a little different, we’re bright, we’re colorful, fun, so that’s to say that we are going to reserve surprises for our guests.
“I would advise people to arrive early to have fun!”
Customers will be able to try Popeyes signature dishes including the Chicken Sandwich and American Cookies.
With trainer Nicole Cockburn on hand to lead her 100 new employees, the goal for staff members is to finish a chicken sandwich in under 60 seconds.
After being marinated for 12 hours, flattened by hand, tossed in breadcrumbs 20 times before being placed in the batter and deep-fried, the chicken is finally ready for a “splintery” bite.
Neil added: “We have quite a varied menu, stuff you’ve probably never seen in a fast food outlet in the UK, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy whatever you try.”