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Popeyes plans to open up to 50 stores by March 2024

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The company has already opened 25 Popeyes outlets in India so far and is planning to ramp up expansion in the coming months

New Delhi: US-based fried chicken restaurant chain Popeyes plans to add about two dozen stores in India in the next three months or so to take the total number of restaurants in the country to about 50 by the end of the current fiscal year, a senior official said.

Gaurav Pande, business head for Popeyes at Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd. (JFL), said the company has already opened 25 Popeyes outlets in India so far and the Noida-based food services company plans to ramp up expansion in the coming months.

“We want to reach close to 50 stores by the end of this financial year,” Pande said. He said store expansion will accelerate further in the next fiscal year as the company creates the required supply chain in many other cities.

“The rate will only increase post this,” he said in an interview at the JFL headquarters in Noida. “This is just the beginning for us.”

JFL is the India master franchisee of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. to open and operate Popeyes-branded restaurants in India and Bangladesh. Founded in 1972 in Louisiana, Popeyes is popular for its fried chicken and its chicken sandwiches. It competes with KFC in many of the international markets.

JFL, which is India’s largest listed food services company, debuted Popeyes in the country with its first store in Bengaluru in January 2022. So far, as part of its cluster approach, the franchise operator of the brand in India has rolled out Popeyes restaurants in southern India in cities including Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Madurai and Manipal.

The latest two stores were opened in Chennai last week—one at the VR Mall and the other on a high street in the Chennai suburb of Perumbakkam.

Now, Popeyes plans to enter north India early next year with stores in the National Capital Region or NCR which comprises Delhi and its satellite cities of Noida, Gurugram and Faridabad among other towns.

“The first focus will be to launch in the north and that should happen by February next year. So, in 2024, we should be coming with at least three to four locations to start with and they’re spread across central Delhi and Gurugram,” Pande said.

Popeyes will open at the Mall of Faridabad in Haryana and at the Pacific Premium Outlets Mall, Jasola, New Delhi.

Apart from Popeyes, JFL operates as the India franchisee of other US fast food brands namely Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin.

Domino’s currently operates around 1,900 joints in India, making it by far the largest in the country where other foreign food and beverage brands including KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Subway among other chains operate.

IndiaRetailing had reported in October that Popeyes is looking to open around 15-20 stores in the region in the next six months and JFL has been scouting for real estate in Chandigarh, Delhi NCR, Punjab, Haryana and other states.

In 2017, Popeyes was acquired by New York Stock Exchange-listed Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI) for $1.8 billion. RBI has separate franchisee operators for its other brands in India. While Apparel Group is the franchisee for coffee chain Tim Hortons, RBI’s other fast-food brand Burger King is operated by Restaurant Brands Asia Ltd.

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