CHICKEN lovers united to celebrate the launch of a fast-food giant’s latest store.
A new branch of KFC in Bedhampton welcomed its first customers as it officially opened this morning.
The Larchwood Avenue site was declared ready for business after a ribbon-cutting ceremony, led by councillor Peter Wade – the deputy mayor of Havant.
Among those queuing to get their fried chicken fix was 29-year-old Steven Bramwell.
He said: ‘I am absolutely over the moon to have a new KFC – it’s way better than McDonald’s in my opinion. This store is close to work as well, which is great.’
Equally eager to place an order were Havant and South Downs College students Olivia Gray and Helena Edney.
Miss Gray, 19, said: ‘I’m so excited. I can’t wait to get a chicken and bacon wrap. That’s my favourite.’
Helena, 18, said the opening could pave the way for a new lunchtime routine.
She said: ‘We usually get a McDonald’s together, so this will make a nice change. I can definitely see a few more trips coming up.’
The new store is one of a handful in UK to feature an updated open-plan layout, giving customers a clear view into the kitchen – where food is cooked to order.
This, says restaurant manager Kerry Whittington, will help to assure customers their food is coming from a good place.
She said: ‘If you order two hot wings for example, we’ll cook them and we’ll put them into the bag – they’re not sat waiting anywhere.
‘This new style does come at a cost, so we have a team of more than 70 people working here.
‘We use the same chicken sold by Waitrose and Marks and Spencer and, with this made to order system, we’re cooking it in a high-quality way so it’s as fresh as it can be.’
Amit Sharma, regional manager for the store’s parent franchise, Amsric Foods, said: ‘We’re really excited to open up this lovely new store – we have a fantastic team here.’