Popeyes sets out senior team ahead of UK launch

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

US fried chicken chain Popeyes sets out senior team ahead of UK launch

Related tags US chain Fried chicken QSR Casual dining Multi-site

US fried chicken chain Popeyes has unveiled the senior team that will lead the business when it enters the UK market later this year.

The group, which was founded in New Orleans in 1972 and runs 3,400 restaurants globally, will launch its first UK restaurant in the autumn as part of an expansion drive to open 350 sites across the country​ over the next 10 years. 

Popeyes UK CEO Tom Crowley will lead the senior team, which is comprised of chief development officer, Tom Byng; chief technology officer, David Carey; and chief operating officer, Neil Williamson.

The brand’s UK CMO and head of people are expected to be appointed imminently. 

Byng, who will spearhead the sourcing of the first Popeyes restaurant in London and thereafter be responsible for the creation of a rolling programme of acquisitions, joins from Fulham Shore where he helped grow the group to more 70 sites.

He also previously played a role in the expansion of Itsu in the UK as director of acquisitions and estate management.

Carey, formerly of The Restaurant Group, will lead on all restaurant and consumer technology at Popeyes, with the group committing to 'bringing a market-leading digital experience' to the UK.

Williamson, meanwhile, will have overall responsibility for the operations and people team, having previously held senior operations roles within Krispy Kreme UK and McDonald’s.

“I’m incredibly proud to reveal this team of talented people who will lead Popeyes® UK as we land with a bang in the UK market," says Crowley.

"The buzz around our arrival is the envy of every restaurant business, and our proposition is unlike anything else on offer here currently. We’ve assembled exactly the right blend of progressive, forward-thinking minds to bring it to life in a way which will be completely unique for UK guests.

"We’re keen to leave a lasting legacy in the UK communities we’ll be situated in, through an emphasis on responsible, sustainable practices and jobs creation – spanning critical operational roles in construction, supply chain and distribution, as well as providing a direct boost to the UK hospitality sector by hiring talent to prepare and serve our world-famous products.”

Popeyes will enter the UK market as part of an agreement between PLK Europe GmbH, a subsidiary of group owner Restaurant Brands International Inc (RBI); Ring International Holdings; and Elias Diaz Sese, who is also non-executive director of Dominos Pizza UK.

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