Popeyes sees steady business on opening day

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, January 1, 2019

VALLEY — Anyone coming off I-85 at Exit 79 or driving down U.S. 29 Saturday noticed the parking lot of the brand-new, orange building surrounded by a non-stop flow of cars.

The easily recognizable building was Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Valley’s newest restaurant that officially opened its doors to hungry customers over the weekend. On Saturday, Dec. 29, two days before owner Abid Khutliwala’s original opening deadline, Popeyes devoted half the day to a “trial run” for family and friends of employees before serving the public in the afternoon.

“The morning was mainly friends and family day where we invited the guests to come in and try everything out,” Khutliwala said. “This was to make sure everything was in order before we opened to the public.”

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Khutliwala and his wife Farida stayed plenty busy throughout the day, helping the new employees with customer requests and making sure everything was in good shape for the restaurant to run smoothly on opening day and into the new year.

“Everything is in order,” Khutliwala said, taking a glance at the lobby full of customers.

The new owner said that he is eager to become a part of the local community, offering what other restaurant’s don’t have while making sure that service stays consistent.

“Popeyes offers different food from what is available here with the Louisiana flavored chicken,” he said. “I think that people over here will love that and my goal is to provide the best customer service and one of the best restaurants in the Greater Valley Area.”

As they are already part of the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, Khutliwala and his family intend to have a grand opening with a ribbon cutting in mid-January. He said that he joined the chamber and built Popeyes in such a high-traffic area because of the role he wants to play in the local economy.

“We want to be fully part of the community,” he said. “We hope the community welcomes us and that we are able to serve all of them.”