Fried chicken chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is creating a host of new jobs by bring a taste of the American south to the Metrocentre.
The quick-service company is poised to open in the Metrocentre’s lower yellow mall, joining the shopping and leisure complex’s other restaurants, later this summer, serving up savoury treats that have been wowing American crowds since it first opened 50 years ago. Popeyes, which was launched in New Orleans, boasts a full southern states menu featuring spicy chicken, chicken tenders, fried shrimp, red beans and rice, strawberry and cream cheese pie and other regional treats. It also says it is the world’s largest quick-service chicken concept restaurant, with more than 3,450 restaurants around the world as of 2020.
A number of celebrities are also known to be fans of the firm’s chicken treats, including singer Justin Bieber, rapper Cardi B and reality TV star Kylie Jenner. News of Popeyes’ plans for the Metrocentre in Gateshead come as the company ramps up its UK expansion, having made its debut in the UK at the end of last year, in a former KFC site in Westfield Stratford.
READ MORE: Apple, Harrods and Nando’s jobs up for grabs at the Metrocentre right now
Other restaurants are set to open in Chelmsford, Romford, Glasgow and the chain is reported to be planning to have a huge portfolio of 350 UK restaurants, with other sites currently in the pipeline in Clapham, Oxford, Reading and Cambridge.
The forthcoming opening at the Metrocentre has been trailed on the shopping centre’s website, and a big sign in the complex has also gone on show with the Popeyes logo, reading: “ “Hey Gateshead, y’all ready for this?”
Popeyes has also advertised a number of job opportunities for the Metrocentre base, including full time team members, shift managers and full and part-time roles for front of house and back of house.
The American chain is one of a number of global companies seeking to extend their foothold into the UK, including Wendy’s Burgers and Jollibee – which attracted huge queues when it opened in Newcastle city centre last year – alongside expanding, homegrown names such as Slim Chickens.
Ben Cox of Sovereign Centros, senior asset manager for Metrocentre, said: “We are delighted that cult US restaurant brand Popeyes have chosen Metrocentre for their first UK restaurant outside of the South East. This is another fantastic addition to our malls and further demonstrates the strength of the leisure and dining offer at the centre, and its popularity with major international brands.
“H beauty by Harrods and JD Sports are due to open flagship stores in June and we have a raft of exciting new lettings to announce in the coming months.”