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Another US fast food chain to launch in the UK with plans for 60 new restaurants following Popeyes and Chick Fil A

THE UK’s fast food scene is set to welcome another American sensation.

Dave’s Hot Chicken has announced plans to open 60 restaurants across the UK and Ireland.

Dave’s Hot Chicken is known in the US for its jumbo hot chicken sliders, tenders, and bites
The brand also offers sides like house-made kale slaw, creamy mac and cheese, and crispy, seasoned french fries
The first restaurant is slated to open in London in the first quarter of 2025

This expansion follows the successful launch of US favourites Popeyes and the imminent launch of Chick-fil-A in the UK.

Dave’s Hot Chicken is known in the US for its jumbo hot chicken sliders, tenders, and bites.

The brand also offers sides like house-made kale slaw, creamy mac and cheese, and crispy, seasoned french fries.

The chain’s chicken is available in seven spice levels, from no spice to reaper, the latter of which requires a signed waiver due to its intense heat.

Dave’s Hot Chicken has partnered with Azzurri Group to spearhead its UK rollout.

The first restaurant is slated to open in London in the first quarter of 2025.

This will come around the same time Chick-fil-A is tipped to open its first UK branch.

Azzurri Group is already a major player in the UK hospitality sector.

The owns well-known brands Zizzi, ASK Italian, Coco di Mama, and Boojum.

Azzurri employs over 6,000 staff across 230 restaurants and stores, and it serves more than 15 million meals annually.


Steve Holmes, chief executive of Azzurri Group, said: “When we first tried Dave’s Hot Chicken we were blown away as it makes some of the most craveable and delicious food we’ve ever had.

“We’re excited to bring this incredible brand to the UK and to be their partner in this ambitious roll-out.”

Bill Phelps, chief executive of Dave’s Hot Chicken, added: “The flavor of Dave’s Hot Chicken resonates across borders, and we’re looking forward to the first UK store getting open soon.”

The brand began as a late-night pop-up in a parking lot in 2017, founded by three childhood friends – Chef Dave Kopushyan, Arman Oganesyan, and Tommy Rubenyan – who scraped together $900 to launch the venture.

Dave’s Hot Chicken quickly gained popularity, leading to the opening of a brick-and-mortar restaurant in East Hollywood.

In 2019, the founders partnered with Wetzel’s Pretzels co-founder Bill Phelps to begin franchising.

The brand has since attracted celebrity investors like Drake, Samuel L. Jackson, and Usher.

It currently operates out of 200 restaurants across the US.

However, it’s not the only US fast-food chain to have taken a leap across the pond in recent years.

FAST FOOD EXPANSION

Popeyes entered the UK market in 2021 and has proved to be a hit with ravenous customers ever since.

In just 30 months, the brand opened over 38 restaurants across the UK.

It has plans to reach the 60-restaurant milestone by the end of 2024.

US burger chain Wendy’s, which already has 31 sites in the UK, will also cut the ribbon on eight new locations this year.

The chain made its return to the UK high street in 2021 after a 20-year hiatus.

Wendy’s is most famous for its square-shaped hamburgers, which are designed to maximize the amount of meat in every bite.

Famed for its chicken sandwiches and soon to make an appearance on UK high streets, we visited Chick-fil-A’s top-secret US headquarters ahead of its UK arrival.

The US fast food giant is set to open its first UK site in early 2025 and a further four in the following two years.

What is Chick-fil-A?

CHICK-FIL-A is an American fast food restaurant specialising in chicken sandwiches.

The eatery was originally founded in College Park, Georgia as the Dwarf Grill in 1946 before it was eventually renamed Chick-Fil-A in 1967.

The fast food chain operates more than 3,000 restaurants, primarily in the US, with locations in 48 states.

They also have locations in Puerto Rico and Canada.

Chick-fil-A also offers catering services for parties and events within the US.

The brand has always closed on Sundays after its founder, Truett Cathy, took the decision to do so in 1946.

Having worked seven days a week in restaurants open 24 hours, Truett saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest, enjoy time with their families and loved ones, or worship if they chose.

The move to open in the UK comes after Chick-fil-A opened a temporary pop-up branch in Reading in 2019.

However, the town centre restaurant shut after its six-month lease expired in 2020.

It came after controversy around comments by the company’s then-chief executive, Dan Cathy, opposing same-sex marriage.

While we don’t know where Chick-fil-A plans to open its new UK restaurants just yet, the company told The Sun that they will be strategically located across the UK to give everyone access to the brand.

Like in the US, restaurants in the UK will be closed on Sunday.

The chain’s most popular menu items, including the original Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, nuggets, waffle fries, and spicy deluxe chicken sandwich, will all appear on UK high streets in 2025.

Shake Shack, which started out as a hotdog cart, recently opened its first restaurant inside a UK train station.

Brits commuting in St. Pancras International Station can now grab their favourite burgers before jumping onto their train.

The new spot marks the fast food giant’s 16th location in the UK since it was launched in Covent Garden in 2013.

It is the brand’s second branch within a travel hub – joining the one in Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal.

While most of Shake Shack’s UK sites are based in London, in recent years bosses have expanded into other locations – including Essex, Oxford and Cardiff.

Shake Shack’s humble beginnings trace back to a New York hot dog cart helmed by Randy Garutti.

The now director of operations for Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group boasts 430 restaurants worldwide.

Wingstop, which currently runs 39 sites across the UK, is set to open a further 15 in 2024.

Lemon Pepper Holdings, which runs the fast food chain’s UK portfolio, said the move would create up to 750 jobs.

The US hospitality brand said it is its biggest year of expansion since launching Wingstop in the UK six years ago.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which currently has 30 stores in the UK, hopes to open 30 new branches over the next couple of years as part of a major expansion plan.

Dunkin’ Donuts first landed in the UK in St John’s in Liverpool in May 2016.

The chain is huge in the US, where it has almost 9,500 stores spread across the country.

It sells a range of doughnuts and other sweet treats as well as hot and cold drinks.

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