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Controversial US chain Chick-fil-A has opened its debut UK restaurant.

Berkshire Live​ reports that the group, known for its fried chicken sandwiches and nuggets, launched in Reading’s The Oracle shopping centre this week.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

Chick-fil-A, pronounced chik-fil-AY, has been testing the water in the UK for some time with a pop-up in London’s Islington in 2015 and Edinburgh last year.

The company was founded by S. Truett Cathy in Atlanta in 1967 and now trades from over 2,000 locations across the US.  

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

But it has faced controversy over its founders’ religious beliefs and reported donations to groups​ with a record of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

Chick-fil-A’s first international restaurant under franchise opened in Toronto in September and was met by protests from LGBTQ activists.

All the brand’s US restaurants close on Sundays, Christmas and Thanksgiving, though it is unknown if the Reading site will also do so.

Related: Chick-fil-A Franchise

US chains have historically had a mixed reception in the UK. Though Five Guys is on track to break 100 sites​ this year, brands such as MOD Pizza and Smashburger have struggled to make a similar impact.

By Sophie Witts

Source: Big Hospitality

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