International chicken shop, Pepe’s Piri Piri, will open its first franchise in Croydon this month, after securing six-figure funding from NatWest.
Sales advisor turned restaurateur Badri Atheek has used the £135,000 finance from the bank to purchase a ten-year lease for the premises on George Street.
The funding, alongside Atheek’s own investment, has enabled him to transform the previously empty shop into a 30-seat fast food chicken restaurant, complete with a fully kitted out kitchen including a main grill, chip fryers and cold room.
Guests will have the option to dine in or takeaway and can choose from the full Pepe’s Piri Piri menu, offering everything from chicken steak burgers to pittas, all available in five flavours. There will also be vegetarian options, sides and desserts available to order.
Atheek will run the Croydon restaurant alongside a team of 10 full and part-time front of house and kitchen staff, with potential to grow the team in future.
Pepe’s Piri Piri was founded in 2004 by Munir Hussain, a former Roosters employee, to offer customers a grilled, not fried, fast food chicken restaurant. The company now has 93 UK stores, including 69 franchises, and also has shops across the US and Northern Ireland.
Atheek said: “Pepe’s reputation precedes it and as a strong brand with supportive franchise options, it was an easy decision to open a restaurant on George Street where we will be the only Piri Piri chicken shop. I have been looking for the ideal location for nearly a year, and thanks to the funding from NatWest, I was able to purchase the lease as soon as I found the premises.
“The shop is near one of the busiest train stations in the country and with plans for a new Westfield shopping centre within the next year, we hope to establish a continually growing customer base over the coming months.”
Tom Barnes, Relationship Manager at NatWest, said: “We have supported Atheek over the last 6-months through his search for his ideal premises. With the funding we have provided, he was able to secure his first shop immediately and it is rewarding to see the empty unit transforming into a modern restaurant as he nears opening day.”