Popeyes opening draws hordes of customers, and attention from authorities

Wang Yanlin Ding Yining
The Huangpu District government was urging safety as long queues formed in front of the newly-opened Popeyes fast-food outlet on Huaihai Road.
Wang Yanlin Ding Yining
Popeyes opening draws hordes of customers, and attention from authorities
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Fried chicken chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen opens its first store on the Chinese mainland in Shanghai on Friday, attracting a long queue of customers.

The Huangpu District government is urging people not to crowd in front of the first Popeyes outlet on the Chinese mainland, which was opened on Friday.

“We advise people to arrange their time reasonably, wear masks and maintain social distancing… or they had better choose another day to go to the restaurant,” it stated in an urgent notice posted at 11am on its official Weibo account after finding queues of more than 300 meters on Huaihai Road.

Many passersby were curious after seeing the long line, and couldn't understand why people were willing to wait hours for the fried chicken and other snacks.

“Even with heavy discounts, it's not worth the time, and there are risks of the virus,” said a pedestrian who happened to walk past.

Popeyes offered 65 percent off discount for its products with a price cut limit of 100 yuan (US$14.08).

A dozen police officers were dispatched to the scene to keep order and the queue turned shorter by 1pm.

Also, Popeyes extended the sales to the end of this month, as a means to avoid crowd gathering, while suspending the digital order on its application in the afternoon.

Adam, from South Africa, had been waiting since 9:30am with his friend. By 1pm they reached the entrance of the outlet.

“Shanghai has gone back to normal. You just meet so many people on the way to work on the Metro, so it's not necessary to worry about the virus,” Adam said with a relaxed smile. “But I have been here for a long time, and I hope the food is good.”

Popeyes opening draws hordes of customers, and attention from authorities
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A couple hold their hard-bought products, which cost around 80 yuan.

Popeyes opening draws hordes of customers, and attention from authorities
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A long queue is still seen at around 1pm.

Popeyes opening draws hordes of customers, and attention from authorities
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

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