Customers wing it, as fried chicken store drums up crowd
Popeyes' first flagship store on the Chinese mainland drew long queues and large crowds over the weekend in downtown Shanghai.
Fried chicken lovers couldn't wait to rush inside the store. Many started lining up outside way ahead of its official opening hour on Saturday morning, with coupons and discount vouchers, souvenirs promised for early arrivals.
Hundreds of customers were seen on Saturday morning on the Huaihai Road M. as the Louisiana fried chicken quick service restaurant returned after several months of hiatus.
The canteen is open to well after midnight on weekends to cater for young customers who wish to fully enjoy urban vibrancy at night.
Customers have been eager to get a taste of Popeyes' fried chicken and local dishes, new seasonal drinks and set meals which can be shared among friends.
Tims China became the new operator of the fried chicken chain store earlier this year, and pledged to leverage existing beverage store infrastructure and operating expertise to grow the Popeyes business rapidly and efficiently.
With a new decorative style at the dining space and oriental elements in seasonal drinks, food lovers said they're willing to give the store a new try.
In the first half this year, Shanghai added 557 new debut stores, according to the city's commerce commission. Fashion, lifestyle and food and beverage brands are eager to offer various kinds of consumer experience in the city.
The queue got shorter at Popeyes on Saturday night. The Huaihai Road store has already drawn more than 13,000 comments on Dianping.com, a local food and lifestyle review site.
Lin Xiaoyao arrived early Saturday morning and managed to bring home a chicken drumstick-shaped throw pillow.
"I'm glad that I arrived early and got the souvenirs," she said on the microblogging site Weibo. "There are still improvements to be made for swifter food ordering process," she added.
Others complained of the long wait in the hot weather, and suggested customers come back at a later time.
Shanghai office worker Cloudy Cao commented: "It has quite similar flavor with other fried chicken and maybe I'll wait for more stores to be opened in other parts of the city to try it again."