Popeyes Barrhead: “When we cut the ribbon, I fully expect people to be camping out the night before”
Hype is building around Popeyes coming to Barrhead Retail Park as the American fast-food chain opens next week
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Popeyes are set to open their first store in Scotland next week at Barrhead Retail Park, just outside of Glasgow.
Hoping to bring the ‘taste of New Orleans’ to the people of Scotland, the American fast-food chain will open on Monday, September 18 at 11am.
Located just a short 15 minute drive from major spots like Glasgow city centre and Glasgow Airport, Popeyes hopes to attract commuters with the strength of their viral brand and their bright orange facade.
Savvy internet users will remember when, a few years ago, the new chicken sandwich launched across Popeyes stores in America - photos and videos were everywhere on social media showing the length of the queues for the new menu option.
In the last year Starbucks and McDonald’s have opened within the Barrhead Retail Park, bringing more food and drink options, and visitors, to the East Renfrewshire commuter town.
We spoke with COO of Popeyes UK, Neil Williamson, to find out why Barrhead was chosen as the first Scottish location for Popeyes, he said:“The noise and engagement on social media from Scottish people online asking Popeyes to open in Scotland was huge - particularly when we opened in Stratford back in 2021.
“We want to have a bigger presence in Scotland and after the pandemic we wanted to make sure we had a drive-thru option which of course was really important during lockdown.
“So when we got the offer to take up the lease in Barrhead, a new and upcoming retail park, we had to take it - it’s a very commutable location.
“It’s not the first time an American brand has come to Scotland - if you look at Krispy Kreme when they landed in Glasgow,
“In the chicken space, we think we’ve got the best product, and offer the famous Louisiana hospitality that nowhere else has.”
The all-new restaurant marks the brand’s 12th opening in 2023, and the chain’s 29th opening since landing in the UK in November 2021. The new restaurant will seat 56 people for dine-in, with 16 seats for outside dining.
Today, September 15, a 6-metre-long carnival float will be bringing the Mardi Gras experience to Glasgow with Scotland’s national piper, Louise Marshall, jamming with New Orleans style brass band The Brass Funkeys.
Renowned for its Chicken Sandwich that ‘broke the internet’, Popeyes will be giving city centre shoppers, workers and passers-by the chance to win one of a thousand free chicken sandwiches as it brings the spirit of New Orleans to Argyle Street ahead of the highly anticipated new Barrhead restaurant opening.
The new Barrhead Popeyes will run the ‘money can’t buy prize’ on opening day - where the first three people in the store & drive-thru queue win a year’s supply of chicken sandwiches. Additionally, the first 25 vehicles through the drive-thru and the first 25 pedestrians in the dine in queue will also be rewarded with a free Chicken Sandwich and exclusive drive-thru merch.
Popeyes saw its most successful opening to-date out of 4,000 restaurants globally when it opened the first UK drive-thru in Rotherham in May. Last month customers queued for 16 hours ahead of the Cardiff Bay Drive Thru.
Neil went to speak about the hype of the Louisiana fast-food brand landing in Barrhead, he said:“The brand carries really well, the interest we’ve had so far has been incredible - there’s a real hype and a real energy about Popeyes landing in Barrhead.
“On Monday when we cut the ribbon, I fully expect people to be camping out the night before.
“We opened in Cardiff Bay in Wales a couple of weeks back, and the first customer arrived in his car at 7pm the previous evening, for an opening at 11am the next day.
“What’s surprising about that is we have a Popeyes in Cardiff already 10 minutes away - which is amazing and that’s the pent-up demand that the brand brings.
“My hero product is the chicken sandwich - I’m not a spicy fan, but most of our menu comes in two varieties - mild and spicy.”
Neil concludes:”We’re hoping this store will be the first of many in Scotland - we’re looking at sites as far up as Aberdeen and across to Edinburgh and the like - and of course more Glaswegian stores like Glasgow city centre and Braehead.”