Boparan Restaurant Group – owner of brands including Ed’s Easy Diner and Harry Ramsden’s – today (25 January) announced its partnership with US firm Slims Chickens to help achieve its “ambitious growth plans” and launch the company in the UK.

Offering a selection of “fresh”, “quality,” cooked-to-order chicken dishes from marinated wings to breaded chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches, the fast-casual dining chain hopes to build its portfolio of 70+ US stores by “opening a further 600 stateside restaurants,” with the first UK store set to open in London this spring.

Co-founder and chief executive, Tom Gordon, said: “We (Slims Chickens) can’t wait to bring a little bit of southern USA hospitality and our fresh quality chicken brand to the UK.

“The Boparan Restaurant group was a logical choice when it came to choosing a franchise partner due to their strong operating capability, and their years of experience in the restaurant industry. We’re confident this will be the start of a prosperous relationship for years to come.”

Boparan chief executive Tom Crowley added: “We are very excited about bringing Slim Chickens to the UK. Founders Tom (Gordon) and Greg (Smart) have created an incredible concept.

“There is something totally unique about Slims’s freshly cooked chicken and house sauces, its modern blues music and its awesome hospitality. We believe there is opportunity in the UK for a ‘better chicken’ brand like Slims, and we are very excited by what we could achieve together.

“Working in partnership with our new friends at Slims, we have firm plans to open restaurants around the UK over the coming months and years securing Slim Chickens’s as a renowned market leader in the sector. Our first site opening will be opening in London in spring this year.”